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Abstract

The prominence of lobbying activity in Washington, D.C., is well-known and often discussed by pundits and legislators alike. For those familiar with the practice of lobbying, it is not a secret that many former government employees become lobbyists and vice versa in a phenomenon often called the revolving door. Yet to be determined, however, is what leads to these so-called revolving door lobbyists and what factors contribute to a heightened number of them working on similar issues.

This study sought to determine if there is a relationship between the degree to which the federal government regulates a certain industry and the number of revolving door lobbyists representing the interests of that industry. This was accomplished by first determining a means of categorizing sectors of the economy and then assessing the federal regulatory burden placed upon each sector and the number of lobbyists active in each sector. Correlational analysis was then conducted to determine any relationship between the federal regulatory burden and the number of lobbyists. Results suggest a positive relationship between the federal regulatory burden and number of lobbyists—if there are more regulations, there will be more lobbyists. The analysis also allowed for the construction of a predictive model that can be used to determine the likely number of revolving door lobbyists active in a sector of the economy given a certain number of regulations relevant to the sector.

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