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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. Charumilind, Chutatong & Kali, Raja & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2003. "Connected Lending: Thailand before the Financial Crisis," CEI Working Paper Series 2003-19, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Government Ownership of Banks," Working Paper Series rwp01-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Stratmann, Thomas, 1995. "Campaign Contributions and Congressional Voting: Does the Timing of Contributions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 127-36, February.
  9. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Great Reversals: The Politics of Financial Development in the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 8178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Seema Jayachandran, 2004. "The Jeffords Effect," UCLA Economics Online Papers 297, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
  15. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  16. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  17. Silberman, Jonathan I & Durden, Garey C, 1976. "Determining Legislative Preferences on the Minimum Wage: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 317-29, April.
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