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Habitual and Occasional Lobbyers in the U.S. Steel Industry: An EM Algorithm Pooling Approach


  • Morck, Randall
  • Sepanski, Jungsywan
  • Yeung, Bernard


Using U.S. steel firm data, we find that lobbying for import protection appears to be habit-forming. To identify heterogeneity in lobbying behavior among firms, we use an expectation-maximization algorithm to sort our firms into groups with different propensities to lobby and estimate the determinants of lobbying in each group. A two-pool model emerges: occasional lobbyers' lobbying depends on their market performance, and habitual lobbyers' lobbying only depends on past lobbying. The latter tends to be larger steel firms whose business is more focused in steel. Our evidence is consistent with dynamic economies of scale in protection seeking breeding protection-dependent firms. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Morck, Randall & Sepanski, Jungsywan & Yeung, Bernard, 2001. "Habitual and Occasional Lobbyers in the U.S. Steel Industry: An EM Algorithm Pooling Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 365-378, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:39:y:2001:i:3:p:365-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    2. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474, June.
    3. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 777-794.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kokko, Ari & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik & Videnord, Josefin, 2017. "Which Antidumping Cases Reach the WTO?," Ratio Working Papers 286, The Ratio Institute.
    2. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2010. "Foreign subsidization and excess capacity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 200-211, March.
    3. Blonigen, Bruce A., 2006. "Working the system: Firm learning and the antidumping process," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 715-731, September.
    4. Y. Hossein Farzin & Jinhua Zhao, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Investment When Firms Lobby Against Environmental Regulation," Working Papers 2003.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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