Advancing the Empirical Research on Lobbying
This essay identifies the empirical facts about lobbying which are generally agreed upon in the literature. It then discusses challenges to empirical research in lobbying and provides examples of empirical methods that can be employed to overcome these challenges--with an emphasis on statistical measurement, identification, and casual inference. The essay then discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and effective use of the main types of data available for research in lobbying. It closes by discussing a number of open questions for researchers in the field and avenues for future work to advance the empirical research in lobbying.
We thank David Austen-Smith, Jordi Blanes i Vidal, Charles Cameron, David Primo, David Lewis, Brian Roberts, Tim Werner, and an anonymous referee for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.