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The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission


  • John M. de Figueiredo
  • Emerson H. Tiller


lobbying (internal organization vs. trade association) by firms in administrative agencies. It explores the power and limitations of the collective action theories and transaction cost theories in explaining lobbying. It introduces a dataset of over 900 lobbying contacts cover 101 issues at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in early 1998. We find that the structure and conduct of large firm lobbying at the FCC is consistent with the predictions of theories of transaction costs and the main results of theories of collective action. However, large firms do not change their behavior drastically as structures arise to remedy the free rider problem. Small firms show no sensitivity to collective action issues or transaction cost issues in the organization or amount of their lobbying, but they do lobby less when having to reveal proprietary information. In sum, large firms behave largely consistent with theoretical predictions, while small firms do not.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. de Figueiredo & Emerson H. Tiller, 2000. "The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission," NBER Working Papers 7726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7726
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    1. Kroszner, Randall S & Stratmann, Thomas, 1998. "Interest-Group Competition and the Organization of Congress: Theory and Evidence from Financial Services' Political Action Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1163-1187, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy

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