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In and out of revolving doors in European Union financial regulatory authorities
Regulation & Governance  (IF5.4),  Pub Date : 2021-06-30, DOI: 10.1111/rego.12424
Adam William Chalmers, Robyn Klingler-Vidra, Alfio Puglisi, Lisa Remke

Although the idea of revolving doors evokes the dynamic image of moving in and out of public and private sector jobs, most scholars take a static view of the revolving door phenomenon, looking mainly at entrances, sometimes at exits, but almost never at both. This is a serious oversight given that normative concerns about revolving doors turn mainly on assumptions about how individuals become socialized through their multiple interactions working on both sides of the revolving door. Our study seeks to revive a bidirectional picture of revolving doors. To this end, we use financial regulatory politics in the European Union (EU) as our case and a unique dataset of nearly 200 regulators from three EU financial regulatory bodies as of 2018. We first describe the extent to which these multiple movements are happening and, second, we explain differences between those who make zero revolving door movements and those who make multiple movements. Our central argument is that previous job experience in the regulated industry (finance) generates valuable expertise and network ties that in turn lead to more movements. Experience in industries outside of finance, however, diminishes this expertise and loosens network ties and hence leads to fewer movements. Our results support these arguments. We also find those making multiple movements are not in the business of finance (traders or those leading sales or marketing teams) but instead have careers on both sides of the revolving doors focused on law, policy, and government affairs.