Revolving Door Lobbyists


We study how ex-government officials use the revolving door to cash in on the personal connections acquired during periods of public service. Lobbyists with past working experience in the office of a US Senator suffer an average 21% drop in generated revenue when that Senator leaves office. The effect is immediate, it is discontinuous around the exit period and it persists in the long-term. Consistent with the notion that lobbyists sell access to powerful elected representatives, the drop in revenue increases with the seniority of and committee assignments power held by the Senator immediately prior to leaving office. For lobbyists connected to US Representatives we find similar effects but only if the Representative had high seniority or was a member of an important committee immediately prior to leaving office.

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