Bias in the Heavenly Choir
Gaining access to decision-makers is an important objective of interest groups. Not all groups, however, enjoy equal access. Some have continuous access to decision-makers in different fora, including private meetings, hearings, and advisory groups. Others, by contrast, find it difficult to approach decision-makers in any form. Chapter 8 looks at variation in the extent to which interest groups gain access to different political institutions. It argues, and for the case of European Union legislation empirically shows, that business associations and professional associations enjoy privileged access to executive institutions; and citizen groups and labour unions to parliaments. The difference across group types, however, is conditional on resource endowment: the business advantage in terms of access to executive institutions is largest for groups rich in material resources.
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