Time to Pick a Fight? Interest Group Decision Making to Enter the Hydropower Regulatory Process
Assuming that interest groups, like households, firms, or any other structured organization, have limited resources but broad objectives, how do they pick and choose which regulatory battles to fight? The issue of interest group battle choice has received little direct attention in the literature, in large part because defining the state space of total interest group activity is often difficult to do in practice. This paper is able to overcome such a difficulty by drawing on a unique data set regarding the hydroelectric dam relicensing process in the United States. In this context, there is evidence that what is most consistently significant in affecting the battle entry decision across the interest groups under study is strategic considerations -- how many allies are expected to also get involved in a particular fight and, even more importantly, who the enemy is that you will be up against.