Connections as Liabilities: The Cost of the Politics-Business Revolving Door in China
Forthcoming in British Journal of Political Science
80 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2019 Last revised: 10 Nov 2022
Date Written: July 31, 2022
The established literature has recognized revolving-door hiring as a means for firms to obtain protection against political risks and advance their business interests. This paper theorizes about the cost of the revolving door between politics and business, which transmits uncertainty during turbulent times from the political system to firms. I empirically estimate the cost of revolving-door recruitment for over 3,000 publicly listed firms in the early years of a major corruption crackdown in China. I show that firm-level returns on revolving-door recruitment become negative during this period. In contrast to conventional corporate governance explanations, the mechanism proposed in this paper emphasizes the external perceptions and financing of firms. Text analyses of over 1 million equity reports and bank loan record data show that political connections act as a negative signal to external financiers, thereby discouraging external financing.
Keywords: Political-Business Revolving Door; Political Risk; Firm Performance; Anticorruption campaign; China
JEL Classification: D3; P26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation