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The Economics of Politically Connected Firms

  • Jay Pil 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://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-06/cesifo1_wp2025.pdf
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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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  1. Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2001. "Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia," NBER Working Papers 8521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. James A. Robinson & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Political Economy of Clientelism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 260-291, 04.
  5. 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.
  6. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2007. "On the Determinants and Effects of Political Influence," Research Department Publications 4540, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. 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.
  8. Jay Pil Choi & Marcel Thum, 2000. "The Dynamics of Corruption with the Ratchet Effect," CESifo Working Paper Series 334, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. 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.
  10. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Kurer, Oskar, 1993. " Clientelism, Corruption, and the Allocation of Resources," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 259-73, October.
  17. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
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