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How the Revolving Door Works on Capitol Hill

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Ryan McVay | Photodisc | Getty Images

When a senator leaves office, the lobbyists who once worked on the officeholder's staff lose about a quarter of their income, according to a new study from three economists at the London School of Economics.

“Lobbyists with experience in the office of a US Senator suffer a 24% drop in generated revenue when that Senator leaves office. The effect is immediate, discontinuous around the exit period and long-lasting.

“Consistent with the notion that lobbyists sell access to powerful politicians, the drop in revenue is increasing in the seniority of and committee assignments power held by the exiting politician,” the study's authors explain.

When Barack Obama was running for president, he promised to end the revolving door. But as president, he hasn't succeeded. It's not even clear he's tried. Earlier this week, we learned that one of his top housing policy advisors is moving from the FHA to become the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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