Im trying to figure out the mechanism for the above and am quite confused. I can find a lot of literature involving lactone formation when a reaction occurs between an alcohol and carboxylic acid group, but have not found anything for a reaction between an alkene and a carboxylic acid group.
I have a mechanism shown here that would give the right product after reacting with a base, but I really doubt that such a reaction would occur, since 2 cations are formed. Intuitively the C=O part of the compound also feels like a better electrophile than the OH, but if this reaction occurred no ester is formed.
The catalysis is amberlyst-15, an acid, but I dont really see how protonation here leads to a lactone. I could see this causing water to leave the compound, but that would give the wrong product.