Big Business Owners in Politics

Posted: 1 Jun 2009

See all articles by Pramuan Bunkanwanicha

Pramuan Bunkanwanicha

ESCP Business School

Yupana Wiwattanakantang

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2009


This paper investigates a little studied but common mechanism that firms use to obtain state favors: business owners themselves seeking election to top office. Using Thailand as a research setting, we find that the more business owners rely on government concessions or the wealthier they are, the more likely they are to run for top office. Once in power, the market valuation of their firms increases dramatically. Surprisingly, the political power does not influence the financing strategies of their firms. Instead, business owners in top offices use their policy-decision powers to implement regulations and public policies favorable to their firms. Such policies hinder not only domestic competitors but also foreign investors. As a result, these politically connected firms are able to capture more market share.

Keywords: G15, G38, K23, P48

Suggested Citation

Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan and Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, Big Business Owners in Politics (June 2009). The Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 22, Issue 6, pp. 2133-2168, 2009, Available at SSRN: or

Pramuan Bunkanwanicha (Contact Author)

ESCP Business School ( email )

79 Avenue de la Republique
Paris, 75011

Yupana Wiwattanakantang

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance ( email )

Business School
Mochtar Riady Building #7-44, 15 Kent Ridge Dri
Singapore, 117592
65-6516-1912 (Phone)

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