The Partisan Logic of City Mobilization: Evidence from State Lobbying Disclosures

Julia A. Payson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Why do local governments sometimes hire lobbyists to represent them in other levels of government? I argue that such mobilization efforts depend in part on the policy congruence between localities and their elected delegates in the legislature. I provide evidence consistent with this theory by examining how municipal governments in the United States respond to partisan and ideological mismatches with their state legislators - a common representational challenge. Using almost a decade of original panel data on municipal lobbying in all 50 states, I employ difference-in-differences and a regression discontinuity design to demonstrate that cities are significantly more likely to hire lobbyists when their districts elect non-co-partisan state representatives. The results are broadly consistent with a model of intergovernmental mobilization in which local officials purchase advocacy to compensate for the preference gaps that sometimes emerge in multilevel government.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)677-690
    Number of pages14
    JournalAmerican Political Science Review
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


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