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Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Perspectives on Politics, Summer 2014


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Resource information:
Resource IDgilenspage2014
Resource titleTesting Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Author(s)Martin Gilens, Benjamin I. Page
Publication/ sourcePerspectives on Politics
Date publishedSummer 2014
Summary text/ abstractA great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. This paper reports on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.
Library categoriesAnarchism & Action, Economics, Politics
Added to Free Range Library14/10/2014
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file iconTesting Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens [530.5 kilobytes]


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