Reverse Revolving Doors: The Influence of Interest Groups on Legislative Voting
49 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2021 Last revised: 19 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 19, 2022
This paper investigates to which extent legislators with a background in an interest group (i.e., reverse revolvers) influence their peers’ voting behavior. To answer this question, we collect novel data containing the universe of votes cast at the European Parliament between 2004 and 2019 and characterize legislators by their former working experience. We leverage a natural experiment by which seats at the European Parliament are assigned alphabetically to provide a causal estimation. We find that seating beside a reverse revolver when the motion is relevant to her interest group increases the co-voting probability by 2.4%, attendance by 1.3%, and decreases abstention by 9%. We find no influence on non-relevant ballots. These effects are driven by budget-related motions and female legislators. Our results suggest that revolving doors are problematic for the political process even when working in reverse.
Keywords: Voting Behaviour, Interest Groups, Social Interaction, Revolving Doors, European Parliament, Decision-Making
JEL Classification: D72, D73, F53, N44, P16
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