IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Politically-Connected Firms and the Military-Clientelist Complex in North Africa


  • Kubinec, Robert

    (Princeton University)


Although much of the theory of authoritarian regimes assumes that the distribution of patronage is necessary to secure a ruler's coalition, it is also true that at times rulers may still survive despite impoverishing influential elites. I argue that what can help dictators maintain elite cohesion is concentrating patronage within institutions capable of controlling access to a broad array of rents. I make this claim based on an original online survey of 2,496 firm managers and employees in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia in which I randomized the type of offers made by political parties to companies for support in a hypothetical election. I show that Egyptian businesses, who have suffered the most under the authoritarian regime, counter-intuitively are also the most supportive of the country's rulers compared to businesspeople in other Arab countries. The underlying mechanism that best explains these findings is the Egyptian military's dominance in the control of patronage relative to the greater institutional diversity found in other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kubinec, Robert, 2018. "Politically-Connected Firms and the Military-Clientelist Complex in North Africa," SocArXiv mrfcu, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:mrfcu
    DOI: 10.31219/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lohmann, Susanne, 1993. "A Signaling Model of Informative and Manipulative Political Action," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 319-333, June.
    2. Claessens, Stijn & Feijen, Erik & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Political connections and preferential access to finance: The role of campaign contributions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 554-580, June.
    3. Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2011. "Dictators And Their Viziers: Endogenizing The Loyalty–Competence Trade‐Off," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 903-930, October.
    4. Susan Bartholomew & Anne D. Smith, 2006. "Improving Survey Response Rates from Chief Executive Officers in Small Firms: The Importance of Social Networks," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 30(1), pages 83-96, January.
    5. Eitan Goldman & Jörg Rocholl & Jongil So, 2013. "Politically Connected Boards of Directors and The Allocation of Procurement Contracts," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(5), pages 1617-1648.
    6. Hainmueller, Jens & Hopkins, Daniel J. & Yamamoto, Teppei, 2014. "Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis: Understanding Multidimensional Choices via Stated Preference Experiments," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-30, January.
    7. Freeman, John R. & Quinn, Dennis P., 2012. "The Economic Origins of Democracy Reconsidered," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 58-80, February.
    8. Szakonyi, David, 2018. "Businesspeople in Elected Office: Identifying Private Benefits from Firm-Level Returns," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 322-338, May.
    9. Weymouth, Stephen, 2012. "Firm lobbying and influence in developing countries: a multilevel approach," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 1-26, December.
    10. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
    11. Gehlbach, Scott & Keefer, Philip, 2011. "Investment without democracy: Ruling-party institutionalization and credible commitment in autocracies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-139, June.
    12. Markus,Stanislav, 2015. "Property, Predation, and Protection," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107088344.
    13. Harzing, Anne-Wil, 1997. "Response rates in international mail surveys: Results of a 22-country study," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 641-665, December.
    14. Frye,Timothy, 2017. "Property Rights and Property Wrongs," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107156999.
    15. Frye,Timothy, 2017. "Property Rights and Property Wrongs," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781316610107.
    16. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Francis,David C. & Kubinec ,Robert, 2022. "Beyond Political Connections : A Measurement Model Approach to Estimating Firm-levelPolitical Influence in 41 Economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10119, The World Bank.
    2. Robert Kubinec, 2018. "Patrons or Clients? Measuring and Experimentally Evaluating Political Connections of Firms in Morocco and Jordan," Working Papers 1280, Economic Research Forum, revised 26 Dec 2018.
    3. Kirill Chmel & Israel Marques II & Michael Mironyuk & Dina Rosenberg & Aleksei Turobov, 2021. "Privacy Versus Security In Trying Times: Evidence From Russian Public Opinion," HSE Working papers WP BRP 82/PS/2021, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Marques, Israel & Remington, Thomas & Bazavliuk, Vladimir, 2020. "Encouraging skill development: Evidence from public-private partnerships in education in Russia’s regions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    5. Braam, Geert & Nandy, Monomita & Weitzel, Utz & Lodh, Suman, 2015. "Accrual-based and real earnings management and political connections," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 111-141.
    6. Colonnelli, Emanuele & Lagaras, Spyridon & Ponticelli, Jacopo & Prem, Mounu & Tsoutsoura, Margarita, 2022. "Revealing corruption: Firm and worker level evidence from Brazil," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(3), pages 1097-1119.
    7. Kim, Daniel S. & Li, Yun & Tarzia, Domenico, 2018. "Value of corruption in China: Evidence from anti-corruption investigation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 112-116.
    8. Thanh Ngo & Jurica Susnjara, 2020. "Government contracts and US bond yield spreads: A study on costs and benefits of materialized political connections," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(7-8), pages 1059-1085, July.
    9. Wei, Chunyan & Hu, Shiyang & Chen, Feng, 2020. "Do political connection disruptions increase labor costs in a government-dominated market? Evidence from publicly listed companies in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    10. Okazaki, Tetsuji & Sawada, Michiru, 2017. "Measuring the extent and implications of corporate political connections in prewar Japan," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 17-35.
    11. Thomas Bourveau & Renaud Coulomb & Marc Sangnier, 2021. "Political Connections and White-Collar Crime: Evidence from Insider Trading in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(5), pages 2543-2576.
    12. Pantzalis, Christos & Park, Jung Chul, 2014. "Too close for comfort? Geographic propinquity to political power and stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 57-78.
    13. Boland, Matthew & Godsell, David, 2021. "Bureaucratic discretion and contracting outcomes," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    14. Iman Harymawan & Brian Lam & Mohammad Nasih & Rumayya Rumayya, 2019. "Political Connections and Stock Price Crash Risk: Empirical Evidence from the Fall of Suharto," IJFS, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-16, September.
    15. Israel Marques II, 2017. "Political Connections and Non-Traditional Investment: Evidence from Public-Private Partnerships in Vocational Education," HSE Working papers WP BRP 56/PS/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    16. Joni, Joni & Ahmed, Kamran & Hamilton, Jane, 2020. "Politically connected boards, family and business group affiliations, and cost of capital: Evidence from Indonesia," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3).
    17. Shi, Haina & Xu, Haoping & Zhang, Xin, 2018. "Do politically connected independent directors create or destroy value?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 82-96.
    18. Quoc-Anh Do & Yen-Teik Lee & Bang Dang Nguyen, 2013. "Political Connections and Firm Value: Evidence from the Regression Discontinuity Design of Close Gubernatorial Elections," Working Papers hal-03460972, HAL.
    19. Croci, Ettore & Pantzalis, Christos & Park, Jung Chul & Petmezas, Dimitris, 2017. "The role of corporate political strategies in M&As," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 260-287.
    20. Joel F. Houston & Liangliang Jiang & Chen Lin & Yue Ma, 2014. "Political Connections and the Cost of Bank Loans," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 193-243, March.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osf:socarx:mrfcu. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: OSF (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.