Log in to access the full article.
Studies on the role of interest groups in the formation of public policy are generally focused on those in democratic countries. However, the emerging literature on interest groups in autocratic regimes suggests that business in such states is actively involved in policy formation. On the basis of the first dataset on the 1891 tariff reform in the Russian Empire, this study carries out an empirical examination of the role of business in policymaking in one of the most autocratic states in history. Dominance analysis is used to estimate the contribution of participants to tariff reform. The results show that while the state had an overriding influence on tariff formation, the contribution of business representatives is noteworthy. The addition of business associations to the model explaining tariff changes leads to an increase in the explained variance of the model by about seven percentage points. Additional regression analysis confirms that the success of lobbying depended on the homogeneity of the proposals presented by regional business associations.