Rules or Legacies? Industry and Political Revolving Doors in Regulators' Careers in Portugal
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Description: The movement of personnel between roles in regulation, politics, and regulated industries is thought to affect the risks of politicization and industry capture of independent regulatory agencies. To test whether such movements are better explained by formal rules or by sector-specific patterns, we employ an original dataset of the 152 appointees to eleven IRAs in Portugal over the last three decades. We find that variations in the formal independence of agencies have been of little consequence. Instead, revolving doors abound in the financial sector, with a disproportionate share of regulators of that sector coming from, and moving back, to the industry. In turn, appointment of regulators with political links to Portuguese IRAs seems related with legacies of sectoral public control.