The benefits of a relational approach to corporate political activity: Evidence from political contributions to tax policymakers

Jennifer L. Brown, Katharine D Drake, Laura Wellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Empirical evidence linking campaign financing activity to future firmbenefits is mixed. However, theory suggests that an important aspect of a successful political strategy is amulti-period investment in cultivating relationshipswith key policymakers (Snyder 1992). We examine a specific setting and investigate whether firms that invest in relationships with tax policymakers via campaign contributions accrue greater future tax benefits. We find that firms that pursue a more relational approach to corporate political activity have lower future cash and GAAP effective tax rates (ETRs) and less volatile future cash ETRs. Further, we provide evidence of an incremental effect of tax-specific lobbying for firms that develop stronger relationships with tax policymakers via PAC support. Thus, our study links taxspecific PAC support to tax-specific outcomes, providing an economic link for the observed contribution-return relation documented in Cooper, Gulen, and Ovtchinnikov (2010).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-102
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of the American Taxation Association
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Campaign contributions
  • Effective tax rates
  • Political connections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Accounting

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The benefits of a relational approach to corporate political activity: Evidence from political contributions to tax policymakers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this