Abstract: Why do interest groups lobby allied legislators if they already agree? One possibility is that allies are intermediaries who help persuade unconvinced legislators. To study the role and value of intermediaries, I develop a formal model of persuasive lobbying where interest groups use public cheap talk and provide verifiable information to a strategically selected coalition of legislators. Interest groups face a trade‐off: Lobbying aligned legislators is advantageous as they are more willing to endorse the group’s preferred policy, but those who are too aligned cannot persuade a majority of their peers. The model illustrates how intermediaries are especially valuable if interest groups cannot persuade a majority themselves. Counter to previous work, the results demonstrate how a legislature’s ideological composition determines the use of intermediaries. Groups may lobby intermediaries even if access to legislators is free and unrestricted.
|POLS 160 - Methods