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The Economics of Politically Connected Firms

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  • Jay Pil Choi
  • Marcel Thum

Abstract

Political connections between firms and autocratic regimes are not secret and often even publicly displayed in many developing economies. We argue that tying a firm’s available rent to a regime’s survival acts as a credible commitment forcing entrepreneurs to support the government and to exert effort in its stabilization. In return, politically connected firms get access to profitable markets and are exempted from the regime’s extortion. We show that such a gift exchange between government and politically connected firms can only exist if certain institutional conditions are met. In particular, the stability of the regime has to be sufficiently low and the regime needs the power to exploit independent firms. We also show that building up a network of politically connected firms acts as a substitute for investments in autonomous stability (such as spending on military and police force). The indirect strategy of stabilizing a regime via politically connected firms gradually becomes inferior when a regime’s exploitative power rises.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2025.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2025

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Keywords: politically connected firms; clientelism; political stability;

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References

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  1. Johnson, Simon & Mitton, Todd, 2003. "Cronyism and capital controls: evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-382, February.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  3. Thomas Ferguson & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Betting on Hitler-The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 101-137, 02.
  4. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2004. "The Economics of Repeated Extortion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 203-223, Summer.
  5. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R, 2001. "Do Some Outside Directors Play a Political Role?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 179-98, April.
  6. Faccio, Mara & Parsley, David C., 2009. "Sudden Deaths: Taking Stock of Geographic Ties," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 683-718, June.
  7. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  8. Kurer, Oskar, 1993. " Clientelism, Corruption, and the Allocation of Resources," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 259-73, October.
  9. Choi, J.P., 1996. "Market Structure and the Timing of Technology Adoption with Network Externalities," Discussion Papers 1996_06, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  11. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  12. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  13. Alberto E. Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," IDB Publications 39978, Inter-American Development Bank.
  14. Grossman, Herschel I. & Noh, Suk Jae, 1994. "Proprietary public finance and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 187-204, February.
  15. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
  16. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411, November.
  17. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 2001. "The dynamics of corruption with the Ratchet effect," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 04/01, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  18. Robinson, James A & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Yakovlev, Andrei, 2008. "State-business relations and improvement of corporate governance in Russia," BOFIT Discussion Papers 26/2008, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  3. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Sobre los determinantes y efectos de la influencia de politica (On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence)," Research Department Publications 4541, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Hasan, Iftekhar & Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kowalewski , Oskar & Kozlowski , Lukasz, 2014. "Politically connected firms in Poland and their access to bank financing," BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2014, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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