Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 4 > Issue 2

Vote Buying: Legislatures and Lobbying

Eddie Dekel, Department of Economics, Tel Aviv University, USA, dekel@northwestern.edu , Matthew O. Jackson, Department of Economics, Stanford University, USA, jacksonm@stanford.edu , Asher Wolinsky, Department of Economics, Northwestern University, USA, a-wolinsky@northwestern.edu
Suggested Citation
Eddie Dekel, Matthew O. Jackson and Asher Wolinsky (2009), "Vote Buying: Legislatures and Lobbying", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 4: No. 2, pp 103-128. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00008063

Publication Date: 07 Jul 2009
© 2009 E. Dekel, M. O. Jackson and A. Wolinsky
Lawmaking,  Interest groups
Vote buyingLobbyingLegislaturesPolitical economy


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In this article:
A Model of Vote Buying 
Vote Buying 


We examine the consequences of lobbying and vote buying, assuming this practice were allowed and free of stigma. Two lobbyists compete for the votes of legislators by offering up-front payments to the legislators in exchange for their votes. We analyze how the lobbyists' budget constraints and legislators' preferences determine the winner and the payments. When lobbyists are budget constrained then the preferences of all legislators can matter, and a lobbyist's relative strength increases more steeply with a budget increase than with an increase of equal magnitude to the legislators' original preferences for this lobbyist's positio. When lobbyists are not budget constrained then only the preferences of near median legislators matter and the preferences of these legislators and the budget enter equally in determining the winner.