Interest group resources, access, and influence: An empirical review

Jonas A.H. Whittlestone*, Michael B. Klitgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Do informational and financial resources systematically secure interest group access and influence on public policy, and is one of these two resources politically more valuable than the other? Answering these questions is vital to understanding some of the drivers of political inequality and skewed influence associated with contemporary democratic politics. Focusing on two of the most commonly mobilized types of resources—money and information—this article reviews 60 studies on the topic. First, a qualitative synthesis shows that informational resources tend to be at least partially positively related to access and influence, while financial resources are more ambiguously associated with both outcomes. Second, a series of meta-regressions support this conclusion since they tend toward showing that informational resources are significantly stronger associated with these outcomes than financial resources. Thus, these results paint a more nuanced picture than the literature suggesting that moneyed interests subvert democratic politics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Political Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


  • access
  • influence
  • information
  • money
  • resources
  • review


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