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Empirical Models of Lobbying -- by Matilde Bombardini, Francesco Trebbi

This paper offers a review of the recent empirical literature on lobbying within Political Economy. In surveying extant evidence, we emphasize quid-pro-quo and informational issues in special interest politics and we highlight crucial open research questions in both. The main unresolved methodological issues remain how to properly account for the impact of lobbying on which equilibrium policies are chosen and advanced, and on how distorted those equilibrium policies might be relative to the interests of the general public. Of the principal open questions within political economy, a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the welfare distortions of lobbying remains one of the most elusive