Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 225–248 | Cite as

Agency problems and interest representation: An empirical analysis of the costs of lobbying

  • Eleanor L Schiff
  • Kim Seufer
  • Anne Whitesell
  • David Lowery
Original Article


Most recent work on the politics of interest representation assumes that lobbyists represent their clients’ interests with fidelity. We test the validity of this assumption. Relying on a principal-agent framework developed by Stephenson and Jackson, Kersh and Lowery and Marchetti, we first discuss the nature of agency problems in lobbying and the utility of several potential solutions for those problems. We next develop and test two sets of hypotheses on how agency problems might influence one form of lobbying behavior – the prices contract lobby firms charge their interest organization principals. The hypotheses are tested with a purposive sample of clients employing major contract lobby firms operating in Washington DC in 2012.


lobbying interest organizations representation 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor L Schiff
    • 1
  • Kim Seufer
    • 1
  • Anne Whitesell
    • 1
  • David Lowery
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political SciencePond Laboratory, Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

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