Bureaucratic Revolving Doors and Interest Group Participation in Policy Making

Kyuwon Lee, Hye Young You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


There is growing concern about the movement of individuals from private sectors to bureaucracies, yet it is unclear how bureaucratic revolving doors affect connected firms’ political participation.We argue that when connected individuals enter government, connected firms reduce their proactive forms of participation because their connected bureaucrats possess firmspecific technical and legal knowledge to help them achieve their policy objectives. We test our intuition by constructing a novel data set on career trajectories of bureaucrats in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and firms that are connected to USTR’s revolving-door bureaucrats. Empirical results show that firms with connections to USTR bureaucrats decrease their lobbying spending and participation on advisory committees under the USTR. The decrease in political participation is stronger when connected bureaucrats are more influential in policy production. Our findings suggest that decreases in interest groups’ political activities might not imply that their influence on policy making is diminished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-717
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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