Situational Hitting: Strategic Lobbying in a Strategic Legislative Environment
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Policy-minded legislatures have a number of tools to implement policy at their disposal. On the one hand, they can write specific legislation and ensure that their policy wishes are accurately carried out. On the other hand, legislatures can delegate this authority to administrative agencies, and, with broad authority, allow them to formulate policy in a manner consistent with the preferences of the agency. This "delegation game" has received significant scholarly attention, and scholars have noted that the political context within which legislatures make this decision affects whether or not delegation will occur. Scholars have also examined the role that interest groups play in this game, yet studies at the interest group level are few in number. Interest groups are strategic actors that formulate strategies of lobbying in a manner that maximizes their potential influence per their resources. As such, interest groups should formulate lobbying strategies that take into consideration the delegation game that legislatures play when formulating policy. In this paper, I develop a game-theoretic model of legislative delegation and examine interest group lobbying strategies within that context. The equilibria from the game that I present: (1) Confirm previous studies of legislative delegation that argue legislatures delegate in a strategic manner given differing political conditions and (2) Suggests that indeed interest groups are strategic actors who develop lobbying strategies based on the expected actions of the legislature.
Morin, Alexander (2010). Situational Hitting: Strategic Lobbying in a Strategic Legislative Environment. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from