Research shows poorly performing firms and those in distress most likely to make political contributions

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In the Journal of Financial Economics, Alexei Ovtchinnikov and Eva Pantaleoni present evidence that individuals make political contributions strategically by targeting politicians with power to affect their economic well-being. Individuals in Congressional districts with greater industry clustering choose to support politicians with jurisdiction over the industry. Importantly, individual political contributions are associated with improvements in operating performance of firms in industry clusters. The relation between contributions and firm performance is strongest for poorly performing firms, firms closer to financial distress, and for contributions in close elections. The results imply that individual political contributions are valuable to firms, especially during bad economic times.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.