a1 University of Wisconsin at Madison
a2 University of Wisconsin at Madison
Coalition lobbying is one of the most frequently employed influence tactics used by interest groups today. Yet, surprisingly, the existing literature measuring its policy effects finds either no relationship or a negative association between coalition lobbying and policy change. We theorize the conditions under which coalition lobbying will influence policy and then test for its policy effects. We expect greater influence when there is consensus across the messages sent from coalitions and when coalitions are larger and mobilize new participants. Using a multilevel model, we assess the argument with survey data from lobbying entities and a content analysis of regulations promulgated by seven U.S. federal agencies. In contrast to the existing literature measuring policy effects, we find evidence that coalition participants hold important influence during regulatory policymaking. We also demonstrate that both consensus and coalition makeup are critical factors for policy change. These findings suggest that groups employing coalition lobbying—under certain conditions—can, and do, affect the content of government policy outputs.
(Online publication March 28 2012)
David Nelson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI 53706.
Susan Webb Yackee is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI 53706.