Revolving Door

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DEFINITION of 'Revolving Door'

The movement of high-level employees from public sector jobs to private sector jobs and vice versa. The idea is that there is a revolving door between the two sectors as many legislators and regulators become consultants for the industries they once regulated and some private industry heads receive government appointments that relate to their former private posts.

BREAKING DOWN 'Revolving Door'

Some half-hearted attempts have been made to close the revolving door, but most of these have simply meant a one- to two-year waiting period before a former public servant can work in the industry he or she was involved in. The argument for having a revolving door is that having specialists within private lobby groups and running public departments ensures a higher quality of information when making regulatory decisions. Opponents point to the many, many opportunities for conflicts of interest.

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