American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 7 (December 2012)


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Revolving Door Lobbyists

Article Citation

Blanes i Vidal, Jordi, Mirko Draca, and Christian Fons-Rosen. 2012. "Revolving Door Lobbyists." American Economic Review, 102(7): 3731-48.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.7.3731


Washington's "revolving door"––the movement from government service into the lobbying industry––is regarded as a major concern for policy-making. We study how ex-government staffers benefit from the personal connections acquired during their public service. Lobbyists with experience in the office of a US Senator suffer a 24 percent drop in generated revenue when that Senator leaves office. The effect is immediate, discontinuous around the exit period, and long-lasting. Consistent with the notion that lobbyists sell access to powerful politicians, the drop in revenue is increasing in the seniority of and committee assignments power held by the exiting politician.

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Blanes i Vidal, Jordi (CEP, London School of Economics and Political Science)
Draca, Mirko (U Warwick)
Fons-Rosen, Christian (U Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
J44: Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing
L84: Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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