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Trade Development and Political Economy present: Matilde Bombardini

112 Eggers Hall

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Trade Development and Political Economy Present: Is it Whom You Know or What You Know? An Empirical Assessment of the Lobbying Process by Matilde Bombardini

TDPE Workshop (Joint with Applied Microeconomics Workshop)

Speaker: Matilde Bombardini (University of British Columbia)
Authors: Marianne Bertrand, Matilde Bombardini and Francesco Trebbi

Abstract: Do lobbyists provide issue-specific information to congressmen? Or do they provide special interests access to politicians? The authors present evidence to assess the role of issue expertise versus connections in the lobbying process and illustrate how both are at work. In support of the connections view, they show that lobbyists follow politicians they were initially connected to, when those politicians switch to new committee assignments. In support of the expertise view, the authors show that there is a group of specialists that even politicians of opposite political affiliation listen to. However, they find a more consistent monetary premium for connections than expertise.

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