Subverting Administrative Oversight: Campaign Contributions and Nursing Home Inspections
I study the consequences of interest group campaign contributions for administrative oversight. Unlike the few previous studies in this area, however, I study the influence in state bureaucracies and at the level of individual groups. Specifically, I test whether campaign contributions to state elected officials influence the outcomes of annual inspections of skilled nursing facilities in 16 states, leveraging the context of state politics in two important ways. First, I consider the differing effects of contributions to the legislative and executive branches. Second, I argue that legislative capacity for oversight influences the efficacy of contributions Regression analysis of inspection results with controls for facility characteristics provides evidence that contributing facilities have better overall inspection results, with a large reduction in citations for severe problems. Furthermore, contributions to legislators reduce overall problems, particularly in less professionalized legislatures, while those to the governor reduce severe ones.