Is there a first mover advantage in lobbying? A comparative analysis of how the timing of mobilization affects the influence of interest organizations in 10 polities

Michele Crepaz, Marcel Hanegraaff, Wiebke Marie Junk

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Abstract

The first mover advantage is a critical factor for the productivity of firms that enter new markets. Surprisingly, however, the importance of timing is rarely explored in studies of interest organizations and their influence on new policy agendas. In this article, we therefore develop a theory of first mover advantages in lobbying. We argue that especially more resourceful and more highly affected organizations should be able to benefit from early mobilization. Using granular survey data on the timing of mobilization of interest organizations on Covid-19 related policies in 10 European democracies, we test this novel theory. Our results show that timing is an important predictor of lobbying influence, but that organizations that are hardly affected by a new policy cannot benefit from early mover advantages in the same way as affected organizations. Moreover, we give evidence for differences in first mover advantages depending on organizational staff resources.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalComparative Political Studies
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Jun 2022

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