I am Senior Researcher in Political Economy at the Chair for Comparative Political Behaviour at Humboldt University Berlin, where I work within the MINISTERIALLOBBY project on lobbying influence in the German federal government. Previously, I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST). I received my PhD in Political Science from the Government Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2019.
My research agenda focuses on corporate influence and money in politics. While influence channels such as lobbying, campaign donations, and employee political activities are often treated in isolation, my work focuses on the complementarities between corporate and employee politics, and the strategic coordination of firms’ political strategies, to better understand how corporations influence politics. This novel agenda is made possible by the availability of big data on corporate political activity internationally and my extensive training in machine learning and data science tools. In particular, my work evolves around three major themes.
I study why and when we see politicall alignment between firms and employees. Contrary to recent evidence on workplace political mobilization, current research assumes that most individual donors contribute ideologically. In “Political Alignment between Firms and Employees in the United States: Evidence from a new Dataset”, published in Political Science Research and Methods, I use natural language processing to link big un-structured data on donations of employees and U.S. public corporations. I show that firm and employee partisan donations are highly correlated and significantly associated with occupation and firm characteristics. I use these original data in my job market paper, “How the Workplace affects Employee Political Contributions” (working paper version), published in the American Political Science Review, to investigate the importance of the workplace in employees’ decisions to make political donations. I find that both regular employees and executives contribute more dollars to company-supported politicians and alignment is stronger on powerful politicians with high value for the company. The results suggest investment-related rather than ideological motives for alignment, and highlight the importance of corporations for money in politics.
Second, in joint work with In Song Kim and Lukas Wolters (both at MIT), we research the complementarities between lobbying and campaign donations. In “Strategic and Sequential Links between Campaign Donations and Lobbying”. We offer the first large scale analysis of the direct link between corporate campaign donations and lobbying, two distinct political activities that have been mostly studied separately. We leverage over 75 million lobbying reports and campaign contribution filings and provide causal evidence that corporate donations result in large increases in the probability that targeted politicians’ legislative activities are lobbied by the same firm. In sum, the findings of these papers question the common perception of donations as mere consumption.
Finally, in joint work with Jieun Lee (University of Buffalo), we investigate the how multinational corporations (MNCs) coordinate lobbying activities with their foreign subsidiaries. While policies affecting MNCs often emerge in home and host countries, existing quantitative work focuses almost exclusively on corporate lobbying in one jurisdiction. We argue that MNCs strategically coordinate lobbying via parent and subsidiary branches abroad in order to obtain more beneficial regulation between home and host jurisdictions. We investigate how and when MNCs benefit from strategic coordination with their subsidiaries focusing on the re-negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the shaping of corporate taxation in the U.S. and Ireland. These projects will improve our insight into how much multinationals benefit from their global presence and will provide a major contribution by consolidating non-U.S. lobbying data.
I am looking forward to teaching courses in Comparative and International Political Economy, Money in Politics, and Quantitative Methods.