Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics

Committee Chair/Advisor

Tollison, Robert D


This paper presents empirical information to assist in answering the question: Why does the number of interest groups vary from one political jurisdiction to another? This paper's contribution to the understanding of the political economy of collective behavior is an empirical, cross-sectional study of interest group formation in the United States. The unit of observation is the county circa 2000. On a per capita basis, this study finds that lower voter participation rates, higher government expenditures, and higher religious adherence, on average, are consistent with the formation of more interest groups. On the other hand, having a higher number of denominations or having a religious market dominated by a small number of denominations (measured by a Herfindahl index) is consistent with the formation of fewer interest groups.

Included in

Economics Commons



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