Competing for endorsements

Gene M. Grossman, Elhanan Helpman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Endorsements are a simple language for communication between interest-group leaders and group members. The members, who share policy concerns, may not perfectly understand where their interests lie on certain issues. If their leaders cannot fully explain the issues, they can convey some information by endorsing a candidate or party. When interest groups endorse legislative contenders, the candidates may compete for backing. Policies may favor special interests at the expense of the general public. We examine the conditions under which parties compete for endorsements, the extent to which policy outcomes are skewed, and the normative properties of the political equilibria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-524
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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