August 1, 2022, Paper: "Research on inequality in American democracy has focused on legislative processes, largely overlooking administrative policymaking, where most U.S. law is now made under pressure from vast amounts of money, lobbying, and political mobilization. Leveraging a broad suite of measurements of organizations’ wealth, participation, and lobbying success during rulemaking, we provide the first large-scale assessment of wealth inequality in agency rulemaking. To do so, we collect an original database of over 260,000 comments on the agency rules implementing the Dodd-Frank Act, in which we identify the lobbying activities of over 6,000 organizations. We find that wealthier organizations are more likely to participate in the rulemaking process, advance more sophisticated comments, and enjoy more success in shifting the content of federal agency rules. Our findings show how an organization’s wealth translates into political power in a country increasingly governed through agency rulemaking."
Non-HKS Faculty Author Website - Daniel Carpenter