Essays on Corporate Influence in Politics

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling


Corporations are among the most important political and economic actors today, but the lack of firm-level data has thus far prevented researchers from answering long-standing questions on corporations in politics. I draw on new data to examine the micro-foundations of important political economy theories, to shed light on individual preference formation and the role of institutions and policy uncertainty for firm’s international trade. The three papers which make up this dissertation answer the following three research questions: 1. Do political preferences of employees align with those of their employers? 2. Under what conditions do political preferences of employees align with those of their employers? 3. How does policy uncertainty affect firm-level trade? In the first paper, I link big data on employee donations to their employer’s Political Action Committee (PAC) donations using natural language processing to automatically identify individual employers and occupations. I show that employee and company contributions are highly correlated, and that firm-and occupation-level factors are significantly associated with firm-employee alignment. Contrary to existing datasets, this data can be easily linked to external data on industries, firms, and occupations. In the second paper, I investigate whether sectors, firms, or occupational asset specificity matter more for employee’s political preferences. I find that firm and sectoral specificity are associated with higher firm-employee partisan alignment and that individuals donate more to firm-supported candidates, but no impact of occupations. The results have implications for research on coalition formation and preference formation. Work on uncertainty, institutions, and international trade overlooks the distributional consequences of uncertainty within sectors. In the last paper, I use Ukrainian firm-level data between 2003 and 2014 to show that a reduction in TPU has a positive and sizable effect on firms’ imports of intermediate and capital goods. Our results have implications for the study of trade and uncertainty.
ForlagThe London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE
Antal sider250
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2019
Udgivet eksterntJa