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Political Connectedness and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany

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  • Alexandra Niessen
  • Stefan Ruenzi

Abstract

This paper investigates politically connected firms in Germany. With the introduction of a new transparency law in 2007, information on additional income sources for all members of the German parliament became publicly available. We find that members of the conservative party (CDU/CSU) and the liberal party (FDP) are more likely to work for firms than members of left-wing parties (SPD and The Left) or the green party (Alliance 90/The Greens). Politically connected firms are larger, less risky and have lower market valuations than unconnected firms. They also have fewer growth opportunities, but slightly better accounting performance. On the stock market, connected firms significantly outperformed unconnected firms in 2006, i.e. before the publication of the data on political connections. Differences in stock market performance were much smaller in 2007. Copyright 2010 The Authors. German Economic Review 2010 Verein für Socialpolitik.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandra Niessen & Stefan Ruenzi, 2010. "Political Connectedness and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 441-464, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:11:y:2010:i::p:441-464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ferguson, Thomas & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2005. "Betting on Hitler - The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 5021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geys, Benny & Mause, Karsten, 2011. "Moonlighting politicians: A survey and research agenda," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Anna Menozzi & María Gutiérrez Urtiaga & Davide Vannoni, 2012. "Board composition, political connections, and performance in state-owned enterprises," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, pages 671-698.
    3. Thomas Braendle & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Public servants in parliament: theory and evidence on its determinants in Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 223-252, October.
    4. Kim, Chansog (Francis) & Pantzalis, Christos & Chul Park, Jung, 2012. "Political geography and stock returns: The value and risk implications of proximity to political power," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 196-228.
    5. Rajwani, Tazeeb & Liedong, Tahiru Azaaviele, 2015. "Political activity and firm performance within nonmarket research: A review and international comparative assessment," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 273-283.
    6. Unsal, Omer & Hassan, M. Kabir & Zirek, Duygu, 2016. "Corporate lobbying, CEO political ideology and firm performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 126-149.
    7. Shirodkar, Vikrant & Mohr, Alexander T., 2015. "Explaining foreign firms’ approaches to corporate political activity in emerging economies: The effects of resource criticality, product diversification, inter-subsidiary integration, and business tie," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 567-579.
    8. repec:eee:jbrese:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:247-256 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Elmar A. Janssen, 2014. "Do Election Results Affect the Value of Politically Connected Firms? - The Effect of the Schroeder-Merkel Change of Government on German Prime Standard Firms," Working Papers Dissertations 05, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    10. repec:eee:corfin:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:411-441 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Karsten Mause, 2009. "Nebentätige Bundestagsabgeordnete: Was offenbaren die Veröffentlichungspflichten?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 146-174, May.
    12. Tang, Xuesong & Lin, Yan & Peng, Qing & Du, Jun & Chan, Kam C., 2016. "Politically connected directors and firm value: Evidence from forced resignations in China," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-167.
    13. Omer Unsal & M. Kabir Hassan & William J. Hippler, 2016. "Lobbying in Finance Industry: Evidence from US Banking System," NFI Working Papers 2017-WP-03, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
    14. Hasan, Iftekhar & Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kowalewski, Oskar & Kozlowski, Lukasz, 2013. "Politically Connected Firms in Poland and Their Access to Bank Financing," Working Papers 13-37, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    15. Gropper, Daniel M. & Jahera, John S. & Park, Jung Chul, 2013. "Does it help to have friends in high places? Bank stock performance and congressional committee chairmanships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1986-1999.
    16. Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kozłowski, Łukasz & Mielcarz, Paweł, 2014. "Political connections and operational performance of non-financial firms: New evidence from Poland," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 109-135.
    17. Abubakr Saeed & Yacine Belghitar & Ephraim Clark, 2017. "Political connections and firm operational efficiencies: evidence from a developing country," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 191-224, January.
    18. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2014. "The effects of ownership, board size and board composition on the performance of Italian water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 18-28.
    19. Scharfenkamp, Katrin, 2013. "Composition effects of the German Federal Government on the average top income tax burden," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 2/2013, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    20. Amore, Mario Daniele & Bennedsen, Morten, 2013. "The value of local political connections in a low-corruption environment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 387-402.
    21. Felix Arnold, 2013. "German MPs' Outside Jobs and Their Repercussions on Parliamentary Effort," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1340, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    22. Gropper, Daniel M. & Jahera, John S. & Park, Jung Chul, 2015. "Political power, economic freedom and Congress: Effects on bank performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 76-92.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • K29 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Other
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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