Strategic and Sequential Links between Campaign: Donations and Lobbying

37 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021

See all articles by In Song Kim

In Song Kim

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jan Stuckatz

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Lukas Wolters

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 15, 2020

Abstract

We offer the first large-scale analysis of the direct link between campaign donations and lobbying -- two distinct political activities that have been mostly studied separately. Using over 75 million U.S. federal lobbying reports and campaign contribution filings since 1999, we show that interest group donations are directly related to their subsequent lobbying efforts and the legislative activities of the targeted politicians. To analyze this sequential link, we use difference-in-differences estimation combined with matching, comparing firms that donate to a politician against a set of comparable firms with no donation history to the same politician. We find that donations result in an 8.5 percentage point increase in the probability that the targeted politician engages in legislative activities related to the bills lobbied by the donating firm. The estimated effects are large, short-term, and particularly pronounced for committee-related activities. Our findings question the common perception of donations as driven either by ideology or long-term investment strategy of interest groups.

Keywords: Lobbying, campaign donations, difference-in-diferences, corporate influence in politics

Suggested Citation

Kim, In Song and Stuckatz, Jan and Wolters, Lukas, Strategic and Sequential Links between Campaign: Donations and Lobbying (October 15, 2020). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2021-2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3937466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3937466

In Song Kim (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/insong/www/

Jan Stuckatz

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Lukas Wolters

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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