The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission
51 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2000
Date Written: May 2000
This paper examines the amount and organization of 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 covering 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 transaction costs theories and the main results of collective action theories. 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.
JEL Classification: K2, L5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation