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Firm Characteristics and Influence on Government Rule-Making: theory and evidence


  • Emma Aisbett
  • Carol McAusland


An adversarial game is used to model the amount of influence a firm has over a government regulator, and its equilibrium level of regulation, as a function of firm fundamentals. The effective influence of a firm is identified as comprising both intrinsic and exerted components; where the latter involves distorting regulation via a transfer to the regulator. Understanding the source of a firm's high influence is found to be important for -among other things - predicting whether it faces higher or lower regulatory constraint than other firms. Data from the World Business Environment Survey provides strong evidence in support of model hypotheses across a wide range of government agents, countries, and regulatory areas. Of particular relevance to public debate, large firms are found to be more likely to be influential, but also more likely to experience regulatory constraint than smaller firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Emma Aisbett & Carol McAusland, 2011. "Firm Characteristics and Influence on Government Rule-Making: theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 649, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:649

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno De Borger & Amihai Glazer, 2015. "Inducing political action by workers," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 1117-1144, April.
    2. Schuster, Philipp & Schmitt, Carina & Traub, Stefan, 2013. "The retreat of the state from entrepreneurial activities: A convergence analysis for OECD countries, 1980–2007," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 95-112.
    3. Michael Rochlitz, 2016. "Collective Action Abroad: How Foreign Investors Organize Evidence from Foreign Business Associations In the Russian Federation," HSE Working papers WP BRP 32/PS/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Davis, Christina & Fuchs, Andreas & Johnson , Kristina, 2014. "State Control and the Effects of Foreign Relations on Bilateral Trade," Working Papers 0576, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Political Economy; Regulation; Influence;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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