Regulatory dependence and Scientific Advisory Boards
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses scientific procedures to evaluate regulated firms' new product applications. Much of its basic intellectual resources, in the form of scientific advisory committee members, come from research institutions. Regulated firms may seek connections to the FDA advisory committee members to affect the regulatory approval process. However, individual linkages may fail. The use of Scientific Advisory Boards (SAB) with multiple members provides redundant ties to the regulator, which means that the failure of each tie becomes less material. This paper is principally concerned with the firm's motivation to rebalance power imbalances rather than any actual regulatory outcomes. Controlling for alternative explanations, I find that dependence on the regulator is positively associated with the probability of having a SAB. Selected network diagrams add credibility to the hypothesis.
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