Consumption or Investment? On Motivations for Political Giving

16 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007

See all articles by Sanford C. Gordon

Sanford C. Gordon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Catherine Hafer

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Abstract

We propose a strategy to distinguish investment and consumption motives for political contributions by examining the behavior of individual corporate executives. If executives expect contributions to yield policies beneficial to company interests, those whose compensation varies directly with corporate earnings should contribute more than those whose compensation comes largely from salary alone. We find a robust relationship between giving and the sensitivity of pay to company performance and show that the intensity of this relationship varies across groups of executives in ways that are consistent with instrumental giving but not with alternative, taste-based, accounts. Together with earlier findings, our results suggest that contributions are often best understood as purchases of good will whose returns, while positive in expectation, are contingent and rare.

Suggested Citation

Gordon, Sanford C. and Hafer, Catherine and Landa, Dimitri, Consumption or Investment? On Motivations for Political Giving. Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 4, pp. 1057-1072, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1066023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00607.x

Sanford C. Gordon (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Catherine Hafer

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Dimitri Landa

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
9
Abstract Views
565
PlumX Metrics