Influencing Connected Legislators

49 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2016

See all articles by Marco Battaglini

Marco Battaglini

Cornell University

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

This paper studies how interest groups allocate campaign contributions when congressmen are connected by social ties. We establish conditions for the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium in pure strategies for the contribution game and characterize the associated allocation of the interest groups' moneys. While the allocations are generally complex functions of the environment (the voting function, the legislators' preferences and the social network topology), they are simple, monotonically increasing functions of the respective legislators' Bonacich centralities when the legislators are office motivated or the number of legislators is large. Using data on the 109th-113th Congresses and on congressmen's alumni connections, we estimate the model and find evidence supporting its predictions.

Keywords: economics of networks, interest groups

JEL Classification: D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Battaglini, Marco and Patacchini, Eleonora, Influencing Connected Legislators (October 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11571, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2853390

Marco Battaglini (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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