A new paper sheds light on the extent on the factors that shape lobbying and corruption, and the extent to which they are substitutes / complements of each other :
We find that the firms that are more likely to engage in lobbying are those that are older, larger, and foreign-owned, and tend to be in countries that are less politically unstable, more democratic, with more independent media, and more leadership alternations since 1989. We also find that the firms that are more likely to engage in lobbying are those located in federal states, with presidential systems and, within presidential systems, where the president has fewer (de jure and de facto) powers. Within parliamentary systems, lobbying is more effective where there are more constraints on the executive. We find that lobbying is also more effective where the electoral system features closed lists and has smaller district magnitude. Crucially, the significant determinants we find for corruption are the same but carry the exact opposite sign, with extremely few exceptions. On this basis, we claim that corruption and lobbying and substitutes in our sample. Further, we find confirmation that lobbying, seems to be a much more effective instrument for political influence than corruption. More surprisingly, we also find that lobbying is a much stronger explanatory factor of firm performance than corruption, and this even in poorer, less developed countries.