Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

William Lincoln


How do firms determine how much to invest in lobbying the federal government? Lobbying is a $3.5 billion industry in the United States. Yet, the influence of lobbying in the political economy is widely disputed. Prior empirical work on firms’ lobbying activities indicates that while very few firms lobby, there is a high degree of persistence in firms’ lobbying behavior. The empirical literature studying the effectiveness of interest group activities has grown over recent decades, largely attributable to the accessibility of data due to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. In this thesis, I provide a holistic review of lobbying in the U.S. and analyze the lobbying firm’s problem—how much to invest in lobbying activities—in a dynamic setting. Estimating a fixed-effects model and a dynamic panel model, I find significant evidence that a representative firm’s decision to lobby depends on its size and whether it has lobbied in the past.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.