The Private Financial Interests of Public Officials and Inequality in the United States

Awarded Scholars:
Christian R. Grose, University of Southern California
Project Date:
May 2017
Award Amount:

When crafting and voting on legislation, do elected officials consider whether regulation or deregulation of specific industries is likely to affect their personal investments? For instance, will a legislator’s ownership of banking stocks influence his or her choices to support or oppose financial industry regulation? Are legislators with real estate investments more likely to view policies focused on homeowners or renters differently than other legislators? 

Christian Grose will explore the extent to which elected officials’ personal financial interests influence their legislative decisions and exacerbate income inequality. He will study the relationship between Congress members' personal holdings and their policy decisions in two industries, banking and real estate. He will determine whether legislators are more heavily invested in these industries than are average Americans, and whether this leads to increased inequality in the U.S.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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