Interest Group Politics and Economic Growth in the U.S. States

Virginia Gray, David Lowery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Mancur Olson's model of economic growth has attracted great attention as a theoretical account of how interest groups influence the rate of economic growth over time. Moreover, the model appears to have received strong empirical support in Olson's tests employing U.S. state data. However, the specification of the Olson construct in these tests is insufficiently attentive to the complex causal chain implicit in Olson's argument, inadequately accounts for precisely how interest groups matter, and employs a static research design that obfuscates the cause-and-effect relationships posited by the model. We review these issues and develop a more complete specification of the Olson model. The respecified model is then tested using U.S. state data for the period of the late 1970s and early 1980s using new measures of interest-group influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-131
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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