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DOES CORPORATE LOBBYING AFFECT THE TOTAL FACTOR

PRODUCTIVITY?

by

Liudmila Tuhari

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MA in Financial Economics

Kyiv School of Economics

2012

Thesis Supervisor: Professor Vakhitov Volodymyr Approved by ___________________________________________________ Head of the KSE Defense Committee, Professor Irwin Collier

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

Date __________________________________

Kyiv School of Economics

Abstract

DOES CORPORATE LOBBYING AFFECT THE TOTAL FACTOR

PRODUCTIVITY?

by Tuhari Liudmila

Thesis Supervisor: Professor Vakhitov Volodymyr

This study attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of corporate lobbying activity

conducted by a firm from a financial perspective. By examining the productivity-

lobbying activity relation, this research fills in the gap between the political

connections and productivity literature. The panel data on 7466 US firms for a

period of 10 years are analyzed as a case. The lobbying expenditures are taken as

one of the variables affecting the total factor productivity of a firm. The paper

provides a brief synthesis of the literature related to the effects of corporate

political activities and presents some methodological issues concerning the

estimation of lobbying outcomes. The results of empirical estimation suggest that

lobbying has a significant positive effect on the firm’s total factor productivity:

each 1% increase in lobbying expenditures lead to a growth of productivity by

0,057%. Also, on average, lobbying firms are more productive than non-lobbying

companies.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................1

Chapter 2: THEORETICAL BASE

2.1. Institutional background of lobbying .....................................................4

2.2. Literature review .........................................................................................7

Chapter 3: METHODOLOGY......................................................................................13

Chapter 4: DATA DESCRIPTION ..............................................................................18

Chapter 5: EMPIRICAL RESULTS..............................................................................25

Chapter 6: CONCLUSIONS...........................................................................................38

References..........................................................................................................................39

Appendix A .......................................................................................................................44

Appendix B .......................................................................................................................50

Appendix C .......................................................................................................................52

ii

LIST OF FIGURES

Number Page

Figure 1. Evolution of total amount of lobbying expenditures (deflated ) incured

by the companies in the sample.....................................................................................19

Figure 2. Comparison of financial indicators (average for 10 years separately for

lobbying and non-lobbying companies) .....................................................................22

Figure 3. Firm’s average lobbying expenditures across industries ..........................24

Figure B1. Decomposition of lobbying expenditures (as a percentage of total

expenditures in the sample) by industries....................................................................50

Figure B2. Classification of industries by sector (sample of lobbying firms)........51

iii

LIST OF TABLES

Number Page

Table 1. Descriptive statistics for the whole sample of companies .........................20

Table 2. Descriptive statistics for the sample of lobbying companies ....................21

Table 3. Decomposition of the sample of lobbying firms by sector.......................23

Table 4. Estimation results for production function for the whole sample...........26

Table 5. Estimation of lobbying effect on productivity for the entire sample ......28

Table 6. Estimation results for production function for lobbying firms................29

Table 7. GMM robustness checks of production function estimation for the sample of lobbying companies .......................................................................................31

Table 8. Estimation results for the effect of lobbying (in levels) on TFPG among lobbying firms ....................................................................................................................33

Table 9. Estimation of lobbying effect on productivity (IV approach) among lobbying firms ....................................................................................................................35

Table 10. Estimation of lobbying effect on TFP (OLS regression by sectors) .....36

Table A1. Descriptive statistics for the sample of lobbying companies for Total Revenues (Y) and Total Assets (K) by year ($mln.)....................................................44

Table A2. Descriptive statistics for the sample of lobbying companies for Total Revenues (Y) and Total Assets (K) by industry ($mln) .............................................45

Table A3. Descriptive statistics for the sample of lobbying companies for Total Lobbying Expenditures (Lobby - in $) and Labor (№ of workers) by year ..........46

Table A4. Descriptive statistics for the sample of lobbying companies for Total Lobbying Expenditures (Lobby - in $) and Labor (№ of workers) by industry ...47

iv

LIST OF TABLES - Continued

Number Page

Table A5. Descriptive statistics for sample of similar lobbying and non-lobbying

firms.....................................................................................................................................48

Table A6. Descriptive statistics for Compustat data on 23125 US companies .....49

Table C1. GMM robustness checks of production function estimation for the

whole sample......................................................................................................................52

Table C2. Estimation for the effect of lobbying (in logarithms) on TFPG among

lobbying firms ....................................................................................................................53

Table C3. Estimation of lobbying effect on productivity for the sample of similar

lobbying and non-lobbying firms...................................................................................54

Table C4. Estimation results for the effect of lobbying (in levels) on TFPG

among lobbying firms.......................................................................................................55

Table C5. Estimation of lobbying effect (FE approach) on productivity among

lobbying firm......................................................................................................................56

v

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to express my genuine appreciation to my thesis adviser Professor

Volodymyr Vakhitov for his guidance and constant support on every step of the

research.

I am grateful to all Research Workshop professors for their practical comments

and suggestions. Special thanks are to Natalia Kalinina for her careful evaluation

of thesis style and orthography.

It is a pleasure to thank my KSE colleague and friend, Dmytro Popov, for his

help in finding the necessary data which made this thesis possible. Special words

of appreciation are directed towards my friends Anzhela Mazhorova and Andrii

Luzan for their unceasing encouragement and confidence in my ability to

succeed.

Finally, this paper would not have been written without financial support of my

studies at KSE by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish

International Development Agency.

vi

GLOSSARY

Lobbying. The act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the

government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies1.

Lobbyists. Individuals who directly attempt to persuade policy makers to take a

particular action and who may be full-time employees of a corporation or an

interest group.

Lobbying Firm. The entity that has 1 or more employees who are lobbyists on

behalf of a client other than that person or entity. The term also includes a self-

employed individual who is a lobbyist2.

Total Factor Productivity (TFP). The portion of output not explained by the