Vote buying:Legislatures and lobbying

Eddie Dekel*, Matthew O. Jackson, Asher Wolinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 ofthese legislators and the budget enter equally in determining the winner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-128
Number of pages26
JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Keyword Vote buying
  • Legislatures
  • Lobbying
  • Political economy


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