Ross Hickey

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Jan Kabátek

Melbourne Institute Brown Bag

Title: Bureaucratic and Political Connections in Parliamentary Lobbying

Abstract: We study the bureaucratic and political connections of lobbyists in a parliamentary democracy. Using lobby registrations from the Canadian province of Quebec we study the impacts of lobbyist characteristics on the value of commercial lobbying contracts. We measure political connections as revealed by lobbyists following ministers and making campaign contributions. Similarly we study bureaucratic connections, measured using lobbyist previous experience with particular ministries and previous public sector employment experience. To mitigate the endogeneity of connections our research design focuses on the reassignments of politicians to ministerial portfolios through exogenous cabinet shuffles. We find that lobbyists with political connections work on less valuable contracts than those with no connections at all. In contrast we find that lobbyists with connections to the bureaucracy who specialize in a particular ministry earn a premium that is increasing in the years of experience with that ministry. We discuss these findings with reference to the literature on the value of lobbyist connections in a presidential system, concluding that the penalty associated with political connections in parliamentary lobbying is likely the result of the precarious nature of cabinet minister assignments.

Presenter: Assistant Professor Ross Hickey, The University of British Columbia

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