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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Auriol, Emmanuelle / Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 4, Issue 1


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Interest Groups and Get Out the Vote Drives

John Cadigan
Published Online: 2004-12-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0653.1333


This article analyzes voter mobilization and interest group activity within a citizen-candidate model. Interest groups influence the decisions of 'high cost’ voters by running a 'get out the vote’ campaign. Membership fees paid by citizens joining an interest group finance the vote drives. Because citizens choose whether to join an interest group, size is an endogenous feature of equilibrium outcomes. In contrast to the existing literature, it is shown that smaller groups may have greater influence. Importantly, this result does not depend on the ability of smaller groups to overcome the free rider problem. Intuitively, because smaller groups may have a less diverse membership, they can advocate more extreme policy outcomes. An interest group’s influence is shown to depend on voting costs and the separation between candidate positions. The presence of multiple interest groups mitigates an interest’s influence, resulting in inefficiency.

Keywords: Collective Action; Interest Groups; Vote Drives; Elections

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Published Online: 2004-12-13

Citation Information: Topics in Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 4, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1538-0653, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0653.1333.

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