How does corruption affect the adoption of lobby registers? A comparative analysis

Fabrizio De Francesco, Philipp Trein

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Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated that some governments in developed democracies followed Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) initiatives to adopt lobby registers whereas other countries refrained from such measures. We contribute to the literature, in demonstrating how corruption is linked to the adoption of lobbying regulations. Specifically, we argue that governments regulate lobbying when they face the combination of low to moderate levels of corruption and a relatively well developed economy. To assess this argument empirically, we compare 42 developed countries between 2000 and 2015, using multivariate logistic regressions and two illustrative case studies. The statistical analysis supports our argument, even if we include a number of control variables, such as the presence of a second parliamentary chamber, the age of democracy, and a spatial lag. The case studies illustrate the link between corruption and the adoption of lobby registers.

Keywords

  • accountability
  • corruption
  • interest groups
  • lobby register
  • transparency

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