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Campaign Contributions over CEOs' Careers

  • Adam Fremeth
  • Brian Kelleher Richter
  • Brandon Schaufele

Individuals dominate money in politics, accounting for over 90 percent of campaign contributions, yet studies of drivers of individuals? giving are scarce. We analyze data on all contributions made between 1991 and 2008 by all 1,556 people who became S&P 500 CEOs during that interval. We exploit variation in leadership status over these individuals? careers to identify that being an S&P 500 CEO causes a $4,029 or 137 percent jump per election cycle in personal giving. While some fraction of CEOs? contributions can be attributed to long-standing preferences, the striking changes in behavior cannot be explained by these factors alone.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 170-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:170-88
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.5.3.170
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  1. Meer, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 2011. "The ABCs of charitable solicitation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(5), pages 363-371.
  2. Eric Guthey & Brad Jackson, 2005. "CEO Portraits and the Authenticity Paradox," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 1057-1082, 07.
  3. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2009. "Social Incentives in the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 4190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Steven N. Kaplan & Bernadette Minton, 2006. "How has CEO Turnover Changed? Increasingly Performance Sensitive Boards and Increasingly Uneasy CEOs," NBER Working Papers 12465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Silberman, Jonathan I & Durden, Garey C, 1976. "Determining Legislative Preferences on the Minimum Wage: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 317-29, April.
  6. Ovtchinnikov, Alexei V. & Pantaleoni, Eva, 2012. "Individual political contributions and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 367-392.
  7. Joulfaian, David & Marlow, Michael L, 1991. " Incentives and Political Contributions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 351-55, March.
  8. Milyo Jeffrey & Primo David & Groseclose Timothy, 2000. "Corporate PAC Campaign Contributions in Perspective," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-15, April.
  9. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1982. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: A Simultaneous Probit-Tobit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 77-83, February.
  10. Aggarwal Rajesh K. & Meschke Felix & Wang Tracy Yue, 2012. "Corporate Political Donations: Investment or Agency?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-40, April.
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