Yet another sub-group that influences the economic policy decision-making process is special interest groups. Individuals with similar interests form a special interest group which makes them more powerful in influencing the decision-making on economic policy and other issues. The beneficial factors of special interest groups within context of economic policy decision making is supported by pluralism, which is a model of economic policy making.
Special interest groups that exert an influence on economic policy decision-making include three main sub-groups:
- organized business groups
- non-governmental organizations
- organized labor groups
Examples of organized business groups include organized business and agriculture. Examples of non-governmental groups include educational and welfare organizations. Examples of organized labor groups include trade unions.
Other interest groups that exert an influence on economic policy decision-making include international financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as media and foreign governments.
Some individuals hold the opinion that special interest groups are excessive in their quantity and pressure on the government to influence decisions concerning economic policy. They feel that such pressure and “disproportionate” influence only complicates and slows down the decision-making process with regards to the economic policy.
Nevertheless, each special interest group is an important constituent influencing government with regards to economic policy decision-making process. According to pluralism, one of the models of economic policy making, the role of each interest group is crucial along with roles of a technocrat, a political leader and a bureaucrat.
On the flip side of the coin, special interest groups are also seen to have a beneficial influence within context of economic policy decision making. They serve as a watchdog of the government’s actions (e.g. actions of politicians, technocrats and bureaucrats) and of building important networks within communities or regions.