Is There a First Mover Advantage in Lobbying? A Comparative Analysis of How the Timing of Mobilization Affects the Influence of Interest Groups in 10 Polities

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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 groups 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 lobbying. Using granular survey data on the timing of lobby efforts by interest groups 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 interest groups which 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
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)530–560
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - first mover advantage, interest groups, influence, comparative politics, organizational theory

ID: 311599271