Department of Political Science, Rutgers University | 89 George Street | New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why
Frank R. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marie Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, and Beth L. Leech
Chicago University Press, 2009

Winner of the Leon D. Epstein Outstanding Book Award, APSA Section on Political Organizations and Parties, 2010

Washington lobbies are far less influential than political rhetoric suggests. In fact, sixty percent of recent lobbying campaigns failed to change policy despite millions of dollars spent trying. Lobbying and Policy Change explains why.

Drawing on their comprehensive examination of nearly one hundred issues, the authors find that resources explain less than five percent of the difference between successful and unsuccessful efforts. Moreover, they show, these attempts must overcome an entrenched Washington system with a tremendous bias in favor of the status quo.

Though elected officials and existing policies carry more weight, lobbies have an impact too, and when advocates for a given issue finally succeed, policy tends to change significantly. The authors argue, however, that the lobbying community so strongly reflects elite interests that it will not fundamentally alter the balance of power unless its makeup shifts dramatically in favor of average Americans' concerns.

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Academic Reviews
      Perspectives on Politics, 9 (1): 178-80 (2011), by McGee Young
      Journal of Politics, 72 (4): 1252-67 (2010), by Thomas T. Holyoke
      Political Science Quarterly, 125 (1), 2010, by Susan Webb Yackee
      Public Administration, 88 (3): 895-898, 2010, by Caelesta Braun-Poppelaars
      Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 35 (3): 433-438 (2010), by David Randall
      Regulation, Fall 2010, pp. 48-49, by John Samples
      APSA Legislative Studies Section Newsletter, Jan 2010, by Caitlyn O'Grady
      Choice, March 2010, by S. L. Harrison
      Fraussen, Bert. 2012. Interest Group Politics: Change and Continuity. Journal of European Integration, 34, 5: 523-529.
      Gouvernement et Action Publique, 2: 189-192 (Avril-Juin 2012), by Helene Michel

Blog and Media Discussions:
      The great money-in-politics myth, by Dylan Matthews, Feb. 9, 2016,
      How Influential is Business in Washington? by Heath Brown, June 3, 2015
      Business doesn't always get its way, by Marie Hojnacki, Jeffrey Berry, Beth Leech and Kathleen Marchetti June 10,
      2015, The Monkey Cage.
      The lobbying economy is twice as big as we think, by Andrew Prokop, Oct. 3, 2014,
      Fiascos and Matters of Degree, by Bob Bauer, March 27, 2014, More Soft Money Hard Law blog
      The real reason Silicon Valley can't win in Washington, by Matthew Yglesias, May 27, 2014,
      Kill Bill, by Thomas B. Edsall, May 22, 2013, New York Times Opinionator Blog
      Think Again: The Power of Un-Reality, by Eric Alterman, Dec. 20, 2012, Center for American Progress
      The Endless Lobbying Arms Race, by Ryan Cooper, Sept. 26, 2012. Washington Monthly
      Is the government making Washington rich? (In charts, of course), by Dylan Matthews, Sept. 25, 2012. Ezra Klein's
      Democracy in America, The, Sept. 26, 2012
      5 Lessons from the SOPA/PIPA Fight, by Matthew Yglesias, Slate / Moneybox, Jan. 20, 2012
      Think Again: When Money Talks, Who Listens (Besides Politicians)? by Eric Alterman, Nov. 8, 2010. Center for
      American Progress

      K Street and the Status Quo, by Melinda Burns, Pacific Standard magazine, August 2010
      Lobbying Often Yields Nothing, Week in Review "Idea of the Day," Aug. 20, 2010
      Matthew Yglesias, on his blog, Aug. 20, 2010
      Lobbying Yields Nothing? by Lee Drutman, Aug. 20, 2010
      Mamas, Don't Let Your Daughters Grow Up To Be Lobbyists, by Jessica Dweck, Aug. 20, 2010
      Do Lobbyists Have Influence? Public Affairs Perspective
      The Real Impact of Interest Groups, by Steven Greene, Sept. 1, 2010
      Punctuated Equilibrium, by Reihan Salam, National Review Online, Sept. 8, 2010
      Poli Sci 101, by Ezra Klein, Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2010
      Legislation by Donation? by Mark Derewicz, Endeavors, Winter 2011, pp. 36-40