Friends in High Places : Two Essays on the Importance of Corporate Political Connections
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study is an examination of the relationship between political connections and the undertaking of major firm events. In our first essay, presented in Chapter 3, we examine the impact politically connected appointments have on firm acquisition behavior. Using proxy statements, we create a unique database of politically connected bidders and merger targets. We find that bidders who hire connected individuals to the board or management team are more likely to avoid merger litigation. Connected bidders make more bids after the appointment. These firms also bid on larger targets. We determine there is a positive relation between the control premium and the relative of the target's connections. Connected acquirers have superior post-merger accounting performance, particularly when they acquire a connected target firm. In the second essay, presented in Chapter 4, we examine the relationship between political connections of private firms and the initial public offering process. Using registration statement information, we create a unique database of politically connected IPO firms. We find that political connections are substitutes to high-quality underwriters and big four auditors. Politically connected firms manage earnings more highly upward than non-connected firms prior to the public offering. Politically connected firms also exhibit less underpricing than non-connected firms. Politically connected IPO firms also have superior post-IPO returns relative to non-connected IPO firms.