Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 103–125 | Cite as

Political geography and interest-group power

  • J. Snyder


The relationship between the distribution of an interest group's members (i.e., voters) across legislative districts and the group's ability to influence government policy is not well understood. We propose a simple model of interest groups and legislative decisionmaking to characterize this relationship formally, and analyze the model for the case of three competing interest groups. We find that an interest group's expected power is maximized when its members are evently divided across (m+1)/2 of the m districts, except when the group is somewhat small, in which case its expected power is maximized when it is evenly divided across all m districts. Expected power decreases sharply as a group's members become concentrated in fewer than (m+1)/2 districts.


Simple Model Economic Theory Interest Group Government Policy Political Geography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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