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Strategies, access and influence: a survey of interests groups in Chile

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Abstract

How do lobbies and interest groups achieve their goals? To answer that, this article explores jointly the three dimensions of the lobbying dynamic: strategies, access and influence. We test several hypotheses with evidence from an original and pioneer survey with interest groups and lobbyists from Chile. Our results show that cause-oriented lobbies are more likely to embrace indirect lobbying strategies. We also examined access. We found that lobbies declare that it is more effective to direct their persuasion efforts towards convincing legislators who are not yet decided. They do so instead of focusing either on the representatives that already agree with them, or enemies. On influence, our results show that most business groups assert that legislators prefer constituents’ input over theirs. Also, they perceive themselves as losing policy battles more often in comparison with other groups.

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Notes

  1. For an alternative story, see Austen-Smith and Wright (1994).

  2. We do not deny that the business sector is not homogeneous. Two business lobbies may have opposing interests in relation to a given regulation or policy. The above holds particularly in a competitive environment. Moreover, business lobbies have different assets and resources. However, overall, it is reasonably expected that business is more likely to be in a privileged position in comparison with other categories.

  3. The authors will make the data used in the estimations available upon reasonable requests to the corresponding author.

  4. The survey was part of a Project founded by the National Agency of Research. As such, the representatives of each group signed an informed consent. Moreover, the survey process including data collection process, confidentiality and information storage was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty in which the project was developed.

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Funding

This work was supported by Fondecyt Iniciación Grant No. 11190948 and ANID-Millenium Science Initiative Program [Grant No. NCS2021_063].

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Correspondence to Andrés Dockendorff.

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Dockendorff, A., Aubry, M. & Galván, C. Strategies, access and influence: a survey of interests groups in Chile. Int Groups Adv 13, 192–212 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41309-024-00207-9

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