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The Economic Benefits of Political Connections in Late Victorian Britain

Author

Listed:
  • Braggion, F.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Moore, L.

Abstract

The late-Victorian era was characteristed by especially close links between politicians and firms in the UK. Roughly half of all members of Parliament served as company directors, many as directors of multiple firms. We analyze 467 British companies over the period 1895 to 1904 to investigate the interaction of firms and politicians. We find that new-technology firms with politicians serving on their boards were more likely to issue equity finance and had higher Tobin's Q. Our evidence suggests that causality runs from director-politicians to a firm's performance, rather than in the opposite direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Braggion, F. & Moore, L., 2011. "The Economic Benefits of Political Connections in Late Victorian Britain," Discussion Paper 2011-039, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:0f305e3a-a699-4697-9679-5e07bed051b9
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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.
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    3. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    4. Fabio Braggion & Lyndon Moore, 2011. "Dividend Policies in an Unregulated Market: The London Stock Exchange, 1895--1905," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, pages 2935-2973.
    5. Cain, Louis P. & Paterson, Donald G., 1981. "Factor Biases and Technical Change in Manufacturing: The American System, 1850–1919," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 341-360, June.
    6. Cull, Robert & Davis, Lance E. & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2006. "Historical financing of small- and medium-size enterprises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 3017-3042, November.
    7. William N. Goetzmann & Andrey D. Ukhov, 2006. "British Investment Overseas 1870-1913: A Modern Portfolio Theory Approach," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, pages 261-300.
    8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
    10. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 13-39.
    11. Thomas Ferguson & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Betting on Hitler—The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 101-137.
    12. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Hilt, 2014. "History of American Corporate Governance: Law, Institutions, and Politics," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. Elmar A. Janssen, 2014. "Do Election Results Affect the Value of Politically Connected Firms? - The Effect of the Schroeder-Merkel Change of Government on German Prime Standard Firms," Working Papers Dissertations 05, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Guo, Di & Jiang, Kun & Kim, Byung-Yeon & Xu, Chenggang, 2014. "Political economy of private firms in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 286-303.
    4. James Foreman-Peck & Leslie Hannah, 2012. "Some Consequences of the Early Twentieth Century Divorce of Ownership from Control," Working Papers 0023, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Grossman, Richard S. & Imai, Masami, 2016. "Taking the lord's name in vain: The impact of connected directors on 19th century British banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 75-93.
    6. repec:eee:exehis:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:17-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Burhop, Carsten & Chambers, David & Cheffins, Brian, 2014. "Regulating IPOs: Evidence from going public in London, 1900–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 60-76.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Connections; Second Industrial Revolution; External Finance;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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