Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 150–172 | Cite as

Walk this way, talk this way: legislator speech and lobbying

  • John RayEmail author
Original Article


Prior scholarship suggests that public committee hearings allow legislators to grandstand, but serve little purpose from a representation perspective. Here, I show some legislators use committee hearings to represent elite interests, and that elites take that form of representation as a credible commitment. Using a novel dataset of hearing transcripts in the 1990–2016 period, I show legislators who speak with greater similarity to interest group representatives are more likely to take jobs as lobbyists upon leaving office. Public committee hearings allow legislators to commit to the preferences of organized interests. I also show public committee hearings have not become more acrimonious, inconsistent with a pure “grandstanding” theory, nor less sophisticated over time.


Legislators Lobbyists Committees Interest groups 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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