Mathias Dewatripont, Jean Tirole

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    254 Scopus citations


    The paper's main contribution is to provide a rationale for advocacy. After observing that many organizations (corporations, judiciary, and the executive and legislative branches of government) use competition among enfranchised advocates of special interests to improve policy making, it argues that advocacy has two major benefits. First, the advocates' rewards closely track their performance whereas nonpartisans' incentives are impaired by their pursuing several conflicting causes at one time. Second, advocacy enhances the integrity of decision making by creating strong incentives to appeal in case of an abusive decision. The paper also analyzes the costs of advocacy in terms of manipulation and garbling of information. It further shows that it may be costly for both the organization and interested parties themselves to let these parties plead their own causes instead of being represented. The paper concludes with two applications to comparative legal systems and to the organization of Congress and with suggestions for future research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-39
    Number of pages39
    JournalJournal of Political Economy
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

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