The Best Foreign Policy Money Can Buy? An Investigation of Foreign Lobbying and U.S. Foreign Policy



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Does foreign lobbying affect foreign aid? In this dissertation I provide compelling evidence the answer is yes. Prior scholarship has almost unequivocally focused on international bargaining as an exchange of public goods such as military, economic, or political concessions. Foreign lobbying represents a fundamentally different form of international bargaining. It is the exchange of a private good for an international policy concession. I develop a theory of foreign lobbying and foreign policy that views foreign policy formation as a function of political actors weighing public goods alongside the benefits they receive from foreign lobbyist contributions. I utilize a Heckman selection model to test this theory and find compelling evidence that foreign lobbying influences U.S. foreign aid allocations.