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Choosing Lobbying Sides: The General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ece Özlem Arikan, Adam William Chalmers

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-564
JournalJournal Of Public Policy
Volume39
Issue number4
Early online date26 Sep 2018
DOIs
Accepted/In press10 Jun 2018
E-pub ahead of print26 Sep 2018
PublishedDec 2019

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Abstract

Despite the impressive amount of empirical research on lobbying, a fundamental question remains overlooked. How do interest groups choose to lobby different sides of an issue? We argue that how groups choose sides is a function of firm-level economic activity. By studying a highly salient regulatory issue, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, and using a novel dataset of lobbying, we reveal that a group’s main economic sector matters most. Firms operating in finance and retail face unique costs and are incentivized to lobby against the GDPR. However, these groups are outgunned by a large, heterogeneous group of firms with superior
lobbying firepower on the other side of the issue.

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