A Quiet Revolution in State Lobbying: Government Growth and Interest Populations

Posted on 01.12.2020 - 01:08

What explains contemporary numbers of interest groups in America? To answer this question and help address conflicting narratives in research, I examine the rise of interest groups in the states. Assembling an original dataset based on archival and secondary sources, I find that relatively few groups lobbied legislators prior to the 1960s or 1970s. During those decades, numbers of interest groups began to grow rapidly. I find that increases in lawmaking activities present inconsistent effects on the political mobilization of groups but increases in spending are strongly correlated with mobilization. In additional tests, I find that the effects of spending on group numbers vary by state and are not discernible in most states. In general, a historic transformation of state governments helps to account for the growth of state lobbying. Interest groups have remained active in state capitols ever since.

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Strickland, James M. (2020): A Quiet Revolution in State Lobbying: Government Growth and Interest Populations. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.5223911.v1
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