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Choosing lobbying sides: the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union

  • Ece Özlem Atikcan (a1) (a2) and Adam William Chalmers (a1) (a2)
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 European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and using a novel data set of lobbying activities, we reveal that a group’s main economic sector matters most. Firms operating in finance and retail face unique costs and are incentivised 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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*Corresponding author. Email: o.atikcan@warwick.ac.uk
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