Research

Research | Jan Stuckatz

Political Alignment between Firms and Employees in the United States: Evidence from a new Dataset, First view. Political Science Research and Methods. [link to publisher]

  • Abstract: I construct a novel measure of partisan alignment between firms and employees. This measure is constructed using data matching 1,691,790 US federal campaign contribution filings of 85,109 individuals to the donations of 874 Political Action Committees (PACs) of publicly listed US companies between 2003 and 2016. The alignment measure shows that employee and employer contributions are highly correlated. Furthermore, firm- and occupation-level factors are significantly associated with firm-employee alignment. Uniquely, these new data can be easily linked to external data on industries, firms, and occupations and consequently allow for in-depth analysis of precisely how companies can influence employees’ politics.

How the Workplace affects Employee Political Contributions, work in progress. [paper]

  • Abstract: How important is one’s employer for individual decisions to donate? Despite the fundamental role of employment for individual’s livelihoods, little attention has been given to how the workplace impacts employees’ political contributions. I use donations of employees and Political Action Committees (PACs) of 12,737 public companies between 2003 and 2018 to show that 16.7 percent of employee donations go to employer-supported politicians. I investigate the dynamic relationship between employee and PAC donations within firm-politician pairs over time and find that employees contribute 17.4% more dollars to company-supported politicians. Firm-employee alignment is stronger on powerful and ideologically moderate legislators with high value for one’s employer. Results from difference-in-differences designs show that high-ranking employees even change the partisanship of their donations in line with their employer, suggesting investment-related rather than ideological motives for alignment. In sum, corporations and the workplace might be even more important in shaping political contributions than previously thought.

Strategic Complementarities between Campaign Donations and Lobbying, with In Song Kim and Lukas Wolters. work in progress. [paper]

  • Abstract: We offer the first large scale analysis of the direct link between campaign donations and lobbying — two distinct political activities that have been mostly studied separately. Using over 75 million lobbying reports and campaign contribution filings since 1999, merged at the level of interest groups and legislators, we demonstrate that interest groups not only target politicians strategically when they make donations, but also arrange the two activities sequentially. Specifically, we show that donations to politicians are directly related to subsequent lobbying efforts and the legislative activities of the targeted politicians. To analyze the sequential link, while accounting for potential confounding between the two activities, we use the difference-in-differences identification strategy combined with matching methods. In particular, we compare firms that make a donation to a politician against a set of comparable firms with no donation history to the same politician. We find that campaign donations result in an 8.5 percentage point increase in the probability that the targeted politician involves in legislative activities that are directly tied to the interests of the donating firm. The effects are large, short-term, and particularly pronounced for committee consideration. Our findings question the common perception of donations as mere consumption or long-term investment strategy.

Political Uncertainty and Trade in Intermediate and Capital Goods: Evidence From Ukrainian Firms, with Oleksandr Shepotylo. under review.

  • Abstract: We explore the effects of policy uncertainty on firm-level trade and introduce a new method to measure uncertainty using machine learning tools for quantitative text analysis. We extend a model with heterogeneous firms and sunk investments by adding intermediate inputs to derive hypotheses about the impact of trade policy uncertainty (TPU) on firm’s decision to import intermediate and capital goods. We look at Ukraine’s trade relations with EU and Russia to measure TPU and test predictions of our model. Ukrainian firms faced considerable uncertainty with regards to two mutually exclusive trade policies: the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU FTA) or a customs union with Russia (RU CU). Using unique firm-product-destination level data from Ukrainian manufacturing firms between 2003 and 2014, we find a substantive increase in firm-level exports to and imports from EU countries, once uncertainty with regards to the EU FTA is reduced. In line with our expectations, more protected goods, intermediates, and capital goods respond stronger to the reduction in TPU. The novel measure of uncertainty can be easily applied to other cases where governments face multiple mutually exclusive policy options.

Strategic Coordination between Multinational Lobbying on International Trade at Home and Abroad, with Jieun Lee. work in progress.

Shifting Profits, Shifting Lobbying: Tax Avoidance and U.S. Multinational’s Lobbying at Home and Abroad, with Jieun Lee. work in progress.

Who became a Nazi? A Structured Database of the German Denazification Questionnaires, 1945–1949, with Selina Hofstetter. Victor Gay, and Mikkel Dack, work in progress.