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Article
Toward an Explanation of Public Interest Group Formation and Proliferation: ‘Seed Money,’ Disturbances, Entrepreneurship, and Patronage
Policy Studies Journal
  • Anthony J. Nownes, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Grant W. Neeley, University of Dayton
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
3-1-1996
Abstract

Utilizing data from a survey of 60 national public interest group founders, this paper addresses two related questions:

  • What factors explain the (relatively) recent proliferation of public interest groups?
  • What factors determine in which policy areas public interest group activity is most likely?

The results of the data analysis suggest that several factors have contributed to group proliferation. Among the most important are law group start-up costs, the spread of affluence and education, an increase in patron activity, and rapid societal change. The results also suggest that public interest group activity is most likely in issue areas of interest to well-educated, affluent whites. Ultimately, however, the data suggest there is bound to be a great deal of uncertainty in the public interest group universe. Because group startup costs are so low and the entrepreneurial pod is so large and varied, virtually any type of public interest group dealing with any issue could form at any time.

Inclusive pages
74-92
ISBN/ISSN
0190-292X
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
Peer Reviewed
Yes
Citation Information
Anthony J. Nownes and Grant W. Neeley. "Toward an Explanation of Public Interest Group Formation and Proliferation: ‘Seed Money,’ Disturbances, Entrepreneurship, and Patronage" Policy Studies Journal Vol. 24 Iss. 1 (1996)
Available at: http://0-works.bepress.com.library.simmons.edu/grant_neeley/4/