Journal of Public Policy

Research Article

When and how can advocacy groups promote new technologies? Conditions and strategies for effectiveness

Sung Eun Kima1 and Johannes Urpelainena2

a1 Department of Political Science, Columbia University, USA E-mail: sk3400@columbia.edu

a2 Department of Political Science, Columbia University, USA E-mail: ju2178@columbia.edu

Abstract

When and how can advocacy groups influence the diffusion of new technologies, such as wind power? We examine the relationship between two different strategies that advocacy groups can adopt: political lobbying and campaigns aimed at potential end users of the new technology. Our game-theoretic analysis shows that without the opportunity to engage in political lobbying, end user campaigns by an advocacy group have the counterproductive effect of reducing the government's incentive to subsidise the new technology. Instead of supporting the advocacy group's campaigning, the government free rides on the social movement's campaigning efforts. While political lobbying cannot prevent free riding, it increases the government's incentive to subsidise the new technology, and thus increases the advocacy group's payoff. These findings suggest that advocacy groups can promote technology diffusion if they can effectively deploy a dual strategy of political lobbying and end user campaigning.

Key words

  • advocacy groups;
  • end user campaign;
  • political lobbying;
  • technology diffusion