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The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying

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  • William R. Kerr
  • William F. Lincoln
  • Prachi Mishra

Abstract

We study the determinants of the dynamics of firm lobbying behavior using a panel data set covering 1998-2006. Our data exhibit three striking facts: (i) few firms lobby, (ii) lobbying status is strongly associated with firm size, and (iii) lobbying status is highly persistent over time. Estimating a model of a firm's decision to engage in lobbying, we find significant evidence that up-front costs associated with entering the political process help explain all three facts. We then exploit a natural experiment in the expiration in legislation surrounding the H-1B visa cap for high-skilled immigrant workers to study how these costs affect firms' responses to policy changes. We find that companies primarily adjusted on the intensive margin: the firms that began to lobby for immigration were those who were sensitive to H-1B policy changes and who were already advocating for other issues, rather than firms that became involved in lobbying anew. For a firm already lobbying, the response is determined by the importance of the issue to the firm's business rather than the scale of the firm's prior lobbying efforts. These results support the existence of significant barriers to entry in the lobbying process.

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  • William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2011. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," NBER Working Papers 17577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17577
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    Cited by:

    1. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2015. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of US Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 147-186.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2015. "Global Collaborative Patents," NBER Working Papers 21735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Adelino, Manuel & Dinc, I. Serdar, 2014. "Corporate distress and lobbying: Evidence from the Stimulus Act," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 256-272.
    4. repec:eee:corfin:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:411-441 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Martin Gregor, 2016. "Tullock's Puzzle in Pay-and-Play Lobbying," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 368-389, November.
    6. repec:anr:reveco:v:9:y:2017:p:201-234 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lambert, Thomas, 2015. "Lobbying on Regulatory Enforcement Actions: Evidence from Banking," HIT-REFINED Working Paper Series 28, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William Kerr & Çağlar Özden & Christopher Parsons, 2017. "High-Skilled Migration and Agglomeration," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 201-234, September.
    9. William R. Kerr, 2013. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gregor Martin, 2015. "To Invite or Not to Invite a Lobby, That Is the Question," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 143-166, July.
    11. Kammerer, Hannes, 2013. "Lobbying for Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79767, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Dellis, Konstantinos & Sondermann, David, 2017. "Lobbying in Europe: new firm-level evidence," Working Paper Series 2071, European Central Bank.
    13. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1868-1897 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Hui Chen & David Parsley & Ya-Wen Yang, 2015. "Corporate Lobbying and Firm Performance," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3-4), pages 444-481, April.
    15. Ian A. Lange & Sarah Polborn, 2012. "Can Lobbying Encourage Abatement? Designing a New Policy Instrument," CESifo Working Paper Series 3760, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Jennifer Abel-Koch, 2013. "Endogenous Trade Policy with Heterogeneous Firms," Working Papers 1306, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Aug 2013.
    17. Martin Gregor, 2014. "Receiver's access fee for a single sender," Working Papers IES 2014/17, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised May 2014.
    18. Martin Gregor, 2014. "Access fees for competing lobbies," Working Papers IES 2014/22, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jul 2014.
    19. Thomas Groll & Christopher J. Ellis, 2017. "Repeated Lobbying By Commercial Lobbyists And Special Interests," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1868-1897, October.
    20. Magee, Stephen & Lee, Hak Loh & Lee, Hongshik, 2017. "Simple measures of endogenous free-riding in protectionist lobbies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 324-333.
    21. Richard Borghesi & Kiyoung Chang, 2015. "The determinants of effective corporate lobbying," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(3), pages 606-624, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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