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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Parliamentary Affairs
Title of proceedings Parliamentary Affairs

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


Interest groups recruit incumbent parliamentarians to their boards to influence policy, improve their resources, and signal political connectedness. To detect parliamentarians’ characteristics that drive recruitment, this study analyses three decades of annual data (1985-2016) of 903 Swiss parliamentarians and their board seats. It compares 5,249 cases of parliamentarians’ successful recruitment by 3,291 different organisations to counterfactual cases where no recruitment took place. The results show that interest groups recruit parliamentarians for both knowledge and networks (professions, other board seats) and influence (committee seats) in interest groups’ policy areas. Moreover, recruited parliamentarians are more likely newcomers, ideologically proximate to inter-est groups, moderate, and from the same district as them.