S&P 500 Companies Lobbying Histories

download as .csv file

I built this data set in my book, The Business of America is Lobbying. It covers the complete 1981-2004 history of Washington Representatives lobbying data for any company that was in the S&P 500 between 1981 and 2006.  The Washington Representatives directory was published by Columbia Books. It includes all organizations that are active in Washington politics by virtue of either having an office in the D.C. area or hiring D.C. area consultants or counsel to represent them.  


YEAR – The year in which the lobbying directory was printed

COMPANY – The company name. This name is consistent across all years. Generally, I used the most recent name of the company.

NAME_THAT_YEAR – The name of the company in the given year. This column is incomplete because it was primarily used to resolve companies that changed their name over time, and is thus not relevant in cases where either a company was not in existence or maintained its same name for the entire time series.

IN_WR – Dummy variable for whether the company is listed in the Washington

INHOUSE – Number of In-house lobbyists listed for the company

OUTSIDE – Number of outside lobbying firms listed for the company


SIC – Standard Industrial Classification code for company

NAICS – North American Industry Classification System code for company

CRP_CATEGORY – Center for Responsive Politics category for company industry

CRP_INDUSTRY – Name of the Center for Responsive Politics industry.



The limit of the Washington Representatives data is that it depends on whom the editors of the historical volumes were able to identify, both through their own surveys and through careful reading of Washington media.

The other challenge in producing this data was that the companies change over time. I did my best to create a full time series for every extant company. In the case of mergers, there were some hard calls as to which company should count as the continuation, but in most cases it was pretty straightforward.