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Political Connections and Preferential Access to Finance: The Role of Campaign Contributions

  • Claessens, Stijn
  • Feijen, Erik
  • Laeven, Luc

Using novel indicators of political connections constructed from campaign contribution data, we show that Brazilian firms that provided contributions to (elected) federal deputies experienced higher stock returns than firms that don’t around the 1998 and 2002 elections. This suggests contributions help shape policy on a firm-specific basis. Using a firm fixed effects framework to mitigate the risk that unobserved firm characteristics distort the results, we find that contributing firms substantially increased their bank financing relative to a control group after each election, indicating that access to bank finance is an important channel through which political connections operate. We estimate the economic costs of this rent seeking over the two election cycles to be at least 0.2% of GDP per annum.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6045.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6045
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  1. Chutatong Charumilind & Raja Kali & Yupana Wiwattanakantang, 2006. "Connected Lending: Thailand before the Financial Crisis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(1), pages 181-218, January.
  2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," CRSP working papers 526, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  11. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
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  13. 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.
  14. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  15. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
  16. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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