Northwestern Events Calendar


IPR Colloq.: B. Libgober (IPR/Poli.Sci./Law) - Who Governs the Association?

When: Monday, April 15, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Chambers Hall, Ruan Conference Room (lower level), 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Lily Schaffer   (847) 491-3395

Group: Institute For Policy Research

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


"Who Governs the Association?"

by Brian Libgober, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Law and IPR Fellow

Abstract: Trade associations provide a crucial channel for the transmission of elite public opinion about the advisability of certain policies. They are also by reputation and according to observable metrics some of the most important and influential lobbying organizations. But whose interests do trade associations represent, and why, among their members? By linking IRS non-profit tax records, data from the encyclopedia of associations, and biographical information from BoardEx, Libgober and his colleagues conduct a study inspired by Dahl's famous "Who Governs?" to examine consequences of turnover in corporate representation on associations' boards for political behavior, focusing on lobbying. Their preliminary findings suggest that, on average, firms shape association policy when they join the board of the association. Second, they find that the effect is larger among associations that have oligarchic characteristics--a stronger hierarchy and holdover board members--and for larger firms. This is consistent with the idea that those associations use an oligarchical governance structure. This paper is co-authored with Benjamin Egerod of Copenhagen Business School and Sebastian Thieme of IAS-Tolouse.

This event is part of the Fay Lomax Cook Spring 2024 Colloquium Series, where our researchers from around the University share their latest policy-relevant research.

Please note all colloquia this quarter will be held in-person only.

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