Politics At Work

91 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2020 Last revised: 9 Dec 2022

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 9, 2022


We study how individual political views shape firm behavior and labor market outcomes. Using new micro-data on the political affiliation of business owners and private-sector workers in Brazil over the 2002–2019 period, we first document the presence of political assortative matching: business owners are significantly more likely to employ copartisan workers. Political assortative matching (which has been rising over time) is larger in magnitude than assortative matching along gender and racial lines (which have been decreasing over time). We then provide three sets of results consistent with the presence of employers’ political discrimination. First, we conduct an incentivized resume rating field experiment showing that owners have a direct preference for copartisan workers opposed to workers from a different party. Second, several patterns in the micro-data and an event study are consistent with a discrimination channel. Third, we conduct representative large-scale surveys of owners and workers revealing that labor market participants view employers’ discrimination as an important explanation behind our findings. We conclude by presenting evidence suggesting that political discrimination in the workplace has additional real implications: copartisan workers are paid more and are promoted faster within the firm, despite being less qualified; firms displaying stronger degrees of political assortative matching grow less than comparable firms.

Keywords: firms, politics, labor, discrimination, Brazil

Suggested Citation

Colonnelli, Emanuele and Pinho Neto, Valdemar and Teso, Edoardo, Politics At Work (December 9, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3715617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3715617

Emanuele Colonnelli (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://emanuelecolonnelli.com

Valdemar Pinho Neto

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900

Edoardo Teso

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS) ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics