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The economics of politically-connected firms

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  • Jay Choi

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  • Marcel Thum

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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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Suggested Citation

  • Jay Choi & Marcel Thum, 2009. "The economics of politically-connected firms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(5), pages 605-620, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:16:y:2009:i:5:p:605-620
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-008-9083-y
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-008-9083-y
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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.
    2. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    9. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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, September.
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    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. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Habib, Ahsan & Muhammadi, Abdul Haris & Jiang, Haiyan, 2017. "Political Connections and Related Party Transactions: Evidence from Indonesia," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-63.
    2. repec:spr:epolit:v:34:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40888-017-0061-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Soumyajit Mazumder, 2016. "Can I stay a BIT longer? The effect of bilateral investment treaties on political survival," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 477-521, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Felix Albrecht & Björn Frank & Simone Gobien & Maren Hartmann & Özcan Ihtiyar & Elina Khachatryan & Nataliya Kusa & Ahmed Rashad & Mohamed Ismail Sabry & Sondos Shaheen & Thomas Stöber, 2016. "The Powerful, the Powerless, and the Grabbing: Non-Nash Land Grabbing in the Lab," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 219-242, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Politically-connected firms; Clientelism; Political stability; H1; H26; H32; L1;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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