The Declining Value of Revolving-Door Lobbyists: Evidence from the American States

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8 Scopus citations

Abstract

‘‘Revolving-door” lobbyists are individuals who transition from governmental positions into lobbying for private entities. Such lobbyists thrive on the insider connections and political knowledge that they developed while in government. These assets afford former lawmakers more access to and influence over incumbent lawmakers. The value of their connections and knowledge, however, is contingent on former colleagues remaining within the legislature. As new legislators enter the assembly, the connections and knowledge of former members expire and lose value. Whereas increases in turnover or assembly size generate more former lawmakers who might lobby, such increases negatively affect former members’ value as lobbyists. Interest groups accordingly hire fewer former legislators to lobby. Other factors, such as longer cooling-off periods or increased legislative staff resources, produce slight or no substantive effects on rates of revolving. Legislative characteristics mostly determine rates of revolving for former lawmakers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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