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For Lobbyists, How Much Is a Senate Connection Worth?

The revolving door between Capitol Hill and Washington’s lobbying community has long been a concern, even prompting a crackdown by Barack Obama. A new paper from Jordi Blanes i Vidal, Mirko Draca and Christian Fons-Rosen attempts to measure the extent of the problem by quantifying the value of the personal connections many lobbyists “acquire[d] during their public service.” They find that “[l]obbyists with experience in the office of a U.S. Senator suffer a 24% drop in generated revenue when that Senator leaves office.” Furthermore, said Blanes i Vidal in a press release: “Our estimates can be interpreted as the price of accessing or influencing politicians. Access or influence can be systematically bought and sold. This means that if you have the money, you can hire a lobbyist with political connections and improve your chances of affecting policy.”? The CliffNotes version of the paper can be found on YouTube. [%comments]