Economic Theory

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 639–681 | Cite as

Common agency lobbying over coalitions and policy

  • David P. BaronEmail author
  • Alexander V. Hirsch


This paper presents a theory of common agency lobbying in which policy-interested lobbies can first influence the choice of a proto-coalition and then influence the legislative bargaining over policy within that coalition. The equilibrium policy in the legislative bargaining stage maximizes the aggregate policy utility of the coalition members and the lobbies, but lobbying can also lead to the preservation of the status quo and lobby-induced gridlock. When the status quo does not persist, the policy outcome is largely determined by the selection of a coalition, since legislative bargaining under unanimity within the coalition leads to a coalition-efficient policy regardless of the identity of the proposer. An example is presented to identify the types of equilibria and provide a full characterization of an equilibrium.


Lobbying Public policy Proto-coalitions Common agency Gridlock 

JEL Classification

D72 H11 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Axelrod R.M.: Conflict of Interest: A Theory of Divergent Goals with Applications to Politics. Markham, Chicago (1970)Google Scholar
  2. Baron D.P.: Competitive lobbying and supermajorities in a majority-rule institution. Scand J Econ 108, 607–642 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron D.P., Diermeier D.: Elections, governments, and parliaments in proportional representation systems. Q J Econ 115, 933–967 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron, D.P., Diermeier, D., Fong, P.: A dynamic theory of parliamentary democracy. Econ Theory, forthcoming (2011)Google Scholar
  5. Baron D.P., Herron M.: A dynamic model of multidimensional collective choice. In: Kollman, K., Miller, J., Page, S. (eds) Computational Models of Political Economy, pp. 13–47. MIT Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  6. Battaglini, M., Palfrey, T.R.: The dynamics of distributive politics. Econ Theory, forthcoming (2011)Google Scholar
  7. Bernheim B.D., Whinston M.D.: Menu auctions, resource allocation, and economic influence. Q J Econ 101, 1–31 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernheim B.D., Whinston M.D.: Common agency. Econometrica 54, 923–942 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Debus M.: Pre-electoral commitments and government formation. Public Choice 138, 45–64 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dekel E., Jackson Matthew O., Wolinsky Asher: Vote buying: legislatures and lobbying. Q J Polit Sci 4, 103–128 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diermeier D., Eraslan H., Merlo A.: Coalition governments and comparative constitutional design. Eur Econ Rev 46, 893–907 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Diermeier D., Eraslan H., Merlo A.: A structural model of government formation. Econometrica 71, 27–70 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Felli L., Merlo A.: Endogenous Lobbying. J Eur Econ Assoc 4, 180–215 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frchette, G.R., Kagel, J., Morelli, M.: Pork versus public goods: an experimental study of public good provision within a legislative bargaining. Econ Theory, forthcoming (2011)Google Scholar
  15. Golder S.N.: Pre-electoral coalitions in comparative perspective. Electoral Stud 24, 643–663 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Golder S.N.: Pre-electoral coalition formation in parliamentary democracies. Brit J Polit Sci 36, 193–212 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Groseclose T., Snyder J.M.: Buying supermajorities. Am Polit Sci Rev 90, 303–315 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grossman G.M., Helpman E.: Protection for Sale. Am Econ Rev 84, 833–850 (1994)Google Scholar
  19. Helpman, E., Persson, T.: Lobbying and legislative bargaining. Adv Econ Anal Policy 1, Article 3 (2001)Google Scholar
  20. Jordan, S.V., Meirowitz, A.: Lobbying and discretion. Econ Theory, forthcoming (2011)Google Scholar
  21. Kalandrakis T.: Regularity of pure strategy equilibrium points in a class of bargaining games. Econ Theory 28, 309–329 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Krehbiel K.: Institutional and partisan sources of gridlock: a theory of divided and unified government. J Theor Polit 8, 7–40 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Krehbiel K.: Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1998)Google Scholar
  24. Martin L.W., Stevenson R.T.: Government formation in parliamentary democracies. Am J Polit Sci 45, 33–50 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seidmann D.J., Winter E., Pavlov E.: The formateur’s role in government formation. Econ Theory 31, 427–445 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Strom K., Muller W.: The keys to togetherness. J Legis Stud 5, 255–282 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of BusinessStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Politics, 041 Corwin HallPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

Personalised recommendations