The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission

John M. de Figueiredo, Emerson H. Tiller

NBER Working Paper No. 7726
Issued in June 2000
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics

lobbying (internal organization vs. trade association) by firms in administrative agencies. It explores the power and limitations of the collective action theories and transaction cost theories in explaining lobbying. It introduces a dataset of over 900 lobbying contacts cover 101 issues at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in early 1998. We find that the structure and conduct of large firm lobbying at the FCC is consistent with the predictions of theories of transaction costs and the main results of theories of collective action. However, large firms do not change their behavior drastically as structures arise to remedy the free rider problem. Small firms show no sensitivity to collective action issues or transaction cost issues in the organization or amount of their lobbying, but they do lobby less when having to reveal proprietary information. In sum, large firms behave largely consistent with theoretical predictions, while small firms do not.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7726

Published: de Figueiredo, John M. and Emerson H. Tiller. "The Structure and Conduct of Corporate Lobbying: How Firms Lobby the Federal Communications Commission." Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 10, 1 (Spring 2001): 91-122.

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