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WHY SMALL GROUPS AND LOW INCOME SECTORS OBTAIN SUBSIDIES: THE “ALTRUISTIC” SIDE OF A “SELF‐INTERESTED” GOVERNMENT*

Johan Swinnen () and Harry de Gorter ()

Economics and Politics, 1993, vol. 5, issue 3, 285-293

Abstract: We develop a model of political support seeking politicians and support supplying voters. Based on Downs' original formulation, the framework yields endogenous political weights with both liberal and conservative properties. Our model reconciles the apparent contradiction between models of self‐interested politicians and of governments motivated by social concerns. We show that the “altruistic” aspect of government behavior is consistent with its “self‐interested” behavior. We determine that the Olson‐Becker pressure group model is not unique. An increase in deadweight costs reduces the equilibrium subsidy. Smaller groups receive a larger per capita subsidy. These results are consistent with Becker's model.

Date: 1993
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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.1993.tb00080.x

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