Lobbying Regulations and Political Equality in the American States
34 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
Laws that regulate the conduct of professional lobbyists in statehouses across the nation are one attempt to ensure that citizens’ opinions receive more equal consideration when elected officials make policy decisions. Do states with stricter lobbying regulations actually display more egalitarian patterns of political representation? Using public opinion measures from the National Annenberg Election Surveys and data on state policies, this paper first demonstrates that state policy decisions are consistently more proximate to the opinions of affluent citizens. I then evaluate the relationship between the stringency of state lobbying regulations and representational equality across the states and find evidence that states with stricter regulations weigh citizens’ opinions more equally in the policymaking process. These findings suggest that lobbying regulations can play an important role in promoting greater political equality.
Keywords: political inequality, political representation, lobbying regulations, public policy
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