Partisanship and the Limits of Stakeholder Capitalism

39 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 28 Mar 2023

See all articles by Marcus Painter

Marcus Painter

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance

Date Written: March 20, 2020


I use Walmart’s 2019 statement on gun control as a setting to document a heterogeneous response within a stakeholder group to a corporate political statement. Using smartphone-location data to measure foot traffic, I find customer store visits to Walmart decreased by 3.9% relative to local competitors after Walmart’s statement. Foot traffic in highly Republican counties decreased by 8.5% but increased by 2.7% in highly Democratic counties. The effect persists throughout the post period in highly Republican counties. Time spent in store also differs along partisan lines. The results highlight the challenges of stakeholder capitalism amidst an increasingly polarized political landscape.

Keywords: Corporate governance, Stakeholder capitalism, Political polarization, Political economy, Big data, ESG, Corporate social responsibility

JEL Classification: A13, C55, D12, D22, G34, P16

Suggested Citation

Painter, Marcus, Partisanship and the Limits of Stakeholder Capitalism (March 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Marcus Painter (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance ( email )

Saint Louis, MO
United States

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