Sisyphus meets the borg: Economic scale and inequalities in interest representation

David Lowery, Virginia Gray, Matthew Fellowes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Recent interpretations of the changing diversity of state interest communities emphasize the distinctive ways that the numbers of organizations representing different kinds of substantive interests grow in response to economic growth. Some guilds readily add new lobbying organizations as economies become larger, while many others grow hardly at all. As economies become larger, then, the relative composition of interest communities can change in ways having little to do with the distribution of interests in society. We develop and test four explanations of the changing diversity of interest communities using the first derivatives of the gross state product (GSP) response functions of 17 guilds of state interest organizations in 1997 as a dependent variable. Our results suggest that some guilds - including several major traditional economic interests - have a demographic advantage over social and public organizations that will make it very difficult for the latter to keep pace with the former as state economies grow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-74
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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