Big Business Owners in Politics

49 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2006 Last revised: 2 Jan 2008

See all articles by Pramuan Bunkanwanicha

Pramuan Bunkanwanicha

ESCP Business School

Yupana Wiwattanakantang

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance ; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: December 18, 2007


This paper investigates a little studied but common mechanism that firms use to obtain state favors: business owners themselved seeking election to top office. Using Thailand as a research setting, we find that the more business owners rely on government conccessions or the wealthier they are, the more likely they are to run for top office. Once in power, the market valuation of their firms increase dramatically. Surprisingly, the political power does not influence the financing strategies of their firms. Instead, business owners in top office use their policy-decision powers to implement regulations and public policies favorable to their firms. Such policies hinder not only domestic competitors but also foreign investors. As a result, these political connected firms are able to seize more market share.

Keywords: Political connections, Family firms, Corporate Governance, Emerging Economies

JEL Classification: G15, G34, G38, K23

Suggested Citation

Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan and Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, Big Business Owners in Politics (December 18, 2007). AFA 2007 Chicago Meetings Paper, EFA 2006 Zurich Meetings, Available at SSRN: or

Pramuan Bunkanwanicha (Contact Author)

ESCP Business School ( email )

79 Avenue de la Republique
Paris, 75011

Yupana Wiwattanakantang

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance ( email )

Business School
Mochtar Riady Building #7-44, 15 Kent Ridge Dri
Singapore, 117592
65-6516-1912 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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1000 Brussels

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