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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 5 No. 3 (July 2013)

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Campaign Contributions over CEOs' Careers

Article Citation

Fremeth, Adam, Brian Kelleher Richter, and Brandon Schaufele. 2013. "Campaign Contributions over CEOs' Careers." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(3): 170-88.

DOI: 10.1257/app.5.3.170

Abstract

Individuals dominate money in politics, accounting for over 90 percent of campaign contributions, yet studies of drivers of individuals' giving are scarce. We analyze data on all contributions made between 1991 and 2008 by all 1,556 people who became S&P 500 CEOs during that interval. We exploit variation in leadership status over these individuals' careers to identify that being an S&P 500 CEO causes a $4,029 or 137 percent jump per election cycle in personal giving. While some fraction of CEOs' contributions can be attributed to long-standing preferences, the striking changes in behavior cannot be explained by these factors alone.

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Download Data Set (430.50 KB) | Online Appendix (172.57 KB) | Author Disclosure Statement(s) (58.91 KB)

Authors

Fremeth, Adam (U Western Ontario)
Richter, Brian Kelleher (U TX)
Schaufele, Brandon (U Ottawa)

JEL Classifications

D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
G34: Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Voting; Proxy Contests; Corporate Governance

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