Who Goes Through the 'Revolving Door'? Examining the Lobbying Activity of Former Congress Members and Staffers

30 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2013

See all articles by Jeffrey Lazarus

Jeffrey Lazarus

Georgia State University - Department of Political Science

Amy Melissa McKay

University of Exeter

Lindsey C. Herbel

Georgia State University

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Government watchdog groups and the government itself have shown concern about the “revolving door” of employees from Congress to private lobbying organizations and the reverse. But virtually no one has analyzed this phenomenon systematically. We take steps to fill this gap in the literature by examining which former members of Congress become lobbyists, and which employ the most staff members who go on to become lobbyists. We construct a dataset of all members of Congress who left the institution between 1976 and 2012, identifying all those who went on to register with the FEC as a lobbyist. We identify several trends. Among these: there is not a significant difference in the rates at which former House members and Senators become lobbyists; institutional standing (in the form of party leadership and other such positions) has a profound effect on which former House members become lobbyists, but less so among former Senators; and there is some evidence that Republican former Senators are more likely to become lobbyists than Democratic former Senators, but this party difference is virtually absent among former House members.

Suggested Citation

Lazarus, Jeffrey and McKay, Amy Melissa and Herbel, Lindsey C., Who Goes Through the 'Revolving Door'? Examining the Lobbying Activity of Former Congress Members and Staffers (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper, American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2300276

Jeffrey Lazarus (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30302
United States

Amy Melissa McKay

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

Lindsey C. Herbel

Georgia State University

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