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The Population Ecology of Gucci Gulch, or the Natural Regulation of Interest Group Numbers in the American States

David Lowery and Virginia Gray
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 1-29
DOI: 10.2307/2111755
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111755
Page Count: 29
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The Population Ecology of Gucci Gulch, or the Natural Regulation of Interest Group Numbers in the American States
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Abstract

The theory of population ecology (in contrast to economic theories of groups) is used to predict the number of interest groups in the United States. Interest-group density is a function of potential constituents, potential government goods and services, the stability of the political system, government age, and government size. Regression analysis of U.S. state data for interest groups in construction, agriculture, manufacturing, welfare, the environment, and local governments. Interest group density conforms to the predictions based on population ecology (constituents, government goods and services, and political stability), but not those based on economic theories of group mobilization.

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