Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2313232
 
 

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Avenues of Influence: On the Political Expenditures of Corporations and Their Directors and Executives


Adam Bonica


Stanford University Department of Political Science

June 20, 2014


Abstract:     
The vast literature on corporate political influence has primarily focused on expenditures made by corporations and their PACs but has largely ignored the political activities of the individuals who lead these firms. In order to understand the role of corporate elites in political advocacy, I introduce a new database of campaign contributions made by corporate directors and executives of Fortune 500 firms. Donating to political campaigns is nearly universal among corporate elites. When compared to corporate PACs, corporate elites are more ideological, more willing to support non-incumbents, and less likely to target powerful legislators. The results also reveal substantial heterogeneity in the political preferences of directors both across and within firms. In addition to challenging widely held beliefs about the political leanings of corporate elites, the prevalence of bi-partisan boardrooms has important implications for how the preferences of key decision-makers within a firms shape its political activities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: corporate political strategies, campaign contributions, lobbying, political ideology

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Date posted: August 20, 2013 ; Last revised: August 21, 2014

Suggested Citation

Bonica, Adam, Avenues of Influence: On the Political Expenditures of Corporations and Their Directors and Executives (June 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2313232 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2313232

Contact Information

Adam Bonica (Contact Author)
Stanford University Department of Political Science ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
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