Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/122034
Authors: 
Cotton, Christopher
Li, Cheng
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Queen's Economics Department Working Paper 1341
Abstract: 
We develop a model of policymaking in which a politician decides how much expertise to acquire or how informed to become about issues before interest groups engage in monetary lobbying. For a range of issues, the policymaker prefers to remain clueless about the merits of reform, even when acquiring expertise or better information is costless. Such a strategy leads to intense lobbying competition and larger political contributions. We identify a novel benefit of campaign finance reform, showing how contribution limits decrease the incentives that policymakers have to remain uninformed or ignorant of the issues on which they vote.
Subjects: 
lobbying
strategic ignorance
campaign finance
rent seeking
JEL: 
C72
D72
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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