Corporate Lobbying and Firm Performance
38 Pages Posted: 14 May 2015
Date Written: April/May 2015
Corporate lobbying activities are designed to influence legislators, regulators and courts, presumably to encourage favorable policies and/or outcomes. In dollar terms, corporate lobbying expenditures are typically one or even two orders of magnitude larger than spending by Political Action Committees (PAC), and, unlike PAC donations, lobbying amounts are direct corporate expenditures. We use data made available by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to examine this more pervasive form of corporate political activity. We find that, on average, lobbying is positively related to accounting and market measures of financial performance. These results are robust across a number of empirical specifications. We also report market performance evidence using a portfolio approach. We find that portfolios of firms with the highest lobbying intensities significantly outperform their benchmarks in the three years following portfolio formation.
Keywords: corporate lobbying, accounting performance, market returns, portfolio, Citizens United
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