The Politics of CEOs

Journal of Legal Analysis, Vol. 11, 2019, pp.1-45

Harvard Law School John M. Olin Center Discussion Paper No. 1002

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Law Working Paper No. 450/2019

52 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2019 Last revised: 9 Dec 2019

See all articles by Alma Cohen

Alma Cohen

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Moshe Hazan

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Roberto Tallarita

Harvard Law School

David Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 19, 2019

Abstract

This article studies the political preferences of chief executive officers (CEOs) of public companies. We use Federal Election Commission records to compile a comprehensive database of the political contributions made by more than 3800 individuals who served as CEOs of Standard & Poor’s 1500 companies between 2000 and 2017. We find a substantial preference for Republican candidates. We identify how this pattern is related to the company’s industry, region, and CEO gender. In addition, we show that companies led by Republican CEOs tend to be less transparent to investors with respect to their political spending. Finally, we discuss the policy implications of our analysis.

Keywords: political spending, political contributions, Republicans, Democrats, CEOs, corporate political influence

JEL Classification: G3, G34, G38, K2, K22

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Alma and Hazan, Moshe and Tallarita, Roberto and Weiss, David, The Politics of CEOs (March 19, 2019). Journal of Legal Analysis, Vol. 11, 2019, pp.1-45; Harvard Law School John M. Olin Center Discussion Paper No. 1002; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Law Working Paper No. 450/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3355690 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3355690

Alma Cohen (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 496-4099 (Phone)
(617) 812-0554 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Moshe Hazan

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://moshehazan.weebly.com/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Roberto Tallarita

Harvard Law School ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel

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