Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey

Pablo T. Spiller, Sanny Liao

NBER Working Paper No. 12209
Issued in May 2006
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics

The participation of interest groups in public policy making is unavoidable. Its unavoidable nature is only matched by the universal suspicion with which it has been seen by both policy makers and the public. Recently, however, there has been a growing literature that examines the participation of interest groups in public policy making from a New Institutional Economics perspective. The distinguishing feature of the New Institutional Economics Approach is its emphasis in opening up the black box of decision-making, whether in understanding the rules of the game, or the play of the game. In this paper we do not attempt to fairly describe the vast literature on interest group's behavior. Instead, the purpose of this essay for the New Institutional Economics Guide Book is to review recent papers that follow the NIE mantra. That is, they attempt to explicate the micro-analytic features of the way interest groups actually interact with policy-makers, rather than providing an abstract high-level representation. We emphasize the role of the institutional environment in understanding interest groups' strategies.

download in pdf format
   (482 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w12209

Published: Brousseau, Eric and Jean-Michel Glachant (eds.) New Institutional Economics: A Guidebook. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
de Figueiredo and Figueiredo w8981 The Allocation of Resources by Interest Groups: Lobbying, Litigation and Administrative Regulation
Daly and Burkhauser The Supplemental Security Income Program
de Figueiredo and Tiller w7726 The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission
Oster and Thornton w14828 Determinants of Technology Adoption: Private Value and Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up
Romer and Romer w13264 The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us