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The economics of politically-connected firms

  • Jay Choi

    ()

  • Marcel Thum

    ()

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-008-9083-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 605-620

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:16:y:2009:i:5:p:605-620
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  1. Joachim Voth & Thomas Ferguson, 2008. "Betting on Hitler: The value of political connections in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1183, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, 04.
  3. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 2003. "The dynamics of corruption with the ratchet effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 427-443, March.
  4. repec:idb:brikps:39978 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Johnson, Simon & Mitton, Todd, 2003. "Cronyism and capital controls: evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-382, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Thomas Ferguson & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Betting on Hitler—The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 101-137.
  8. 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.
  9. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  10. Stephen Coate, 2001. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," NBER Working Papers 8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, .
  12. 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.
  13. Faccio, Mara & Parsley, Davie, 2007. "Sudden Deaths: Taking Stock of Geographic Ties," MPRA Paper 6042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Kurer, Oskar, 1993. "Clientelism, Corruption, and the Allocation of Resources," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 259-73, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Choi, Jay Pil & Thum, Marcel, 1998. "Market structure and the timing of technology adoption with network externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 225-244, February.
  17. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  18. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411.
  19. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
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