August, 2013

Corporate Lobbying, Political Connections, and the Bailout of Banks

  • Diana Thomas

    Associate Professor of Economics, Creighton University
  • Benjamin M. Blau

    Associate Professor of Economics, Utah State University
  • Tyler J. Brough

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Political involvement has long been shown to be a profitable investment for firms that seek favorable regulatory conditions or support in times of economic distress. But how important are different types of political involvement for the timing and magnitude of political support? To answer this question, we take a comprehensive look at the lobbying expenditures and political connections of banks that were recipients of government support under the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). We find that politically-engaged firms were not only more likely to receive TARP funds, but they also received a greater amount of TARP support and received the support earlier than firms that were not politically involved.

Find the article at Science Direct.