Lobbying with the Competition: Do Firm Differentiation, Law Specificity, and Firm Strategy Matter?

Olson, Adam
Tice, Frances
Weaver, Connie
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In this paper, we examine how firms choose their lobbying participation given the competitive advantages that can be gained from: (1) firm-specific attributes in the form of differentiation, (2) specificity of tax laws under which firms operate, (3) and other tax strategy policies that firms have at their disposal to gain a competitive advantage. We use tax lobbying surrounding the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act and the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as our empirical setting. We find that firm differentiation increases individual lobbying and decreases trade association lobbying when the laws being lobbied are narrow in scope. However, broader laws significantly reduce the relation between firm differentiation and individual lobbying. We also find that tax planning and tax lobbying is coordinated, and it is not impacted by law specificity. The findings from our study provide important insights into the circumstances under which firms will choose to lobby for laws and in what format firms will conduct their lobbying.
tax lobbying, game theory, competitive advantage, firm differentiation, law specificity
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