Thieme, Sebastian (2020) Moderation or Strategy? Political Giving by Corporations and Trade Groups. Journal of Politics, vol.82 (n°3). pp. 1171-1175.

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Identification Number : 10.1086/707619


Do bipartisan contributions by corporations and trade associations reflect strategic considerations or ideological moderation? In this article, I leverage lobbying disclosures in Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to provide a new measure of ideology that allows me to adjudicate between the two accounts. These states' legislatures permit or require lobbyists to declare their principals' positions on lobbied bills. I combine these data with roll call votes to estimate the ideal points of legislators and private interests in the same ideological space. I find that the revealed preferences of most corporations and trade groups are more conservative than what would be implied by their contribution behavior. This shows that a moderate contribution record need not imply moderation in policy preferences. Thus, such interests may not reduce polarization overall. Further, the divergence between contribution and position-taking behavior indicates that many business interests employ sophisticated strategies to influence public officials whom they disagree with.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: July 2020
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Austin, Tex
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2022 10:06
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2022 10:06
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