Executive political preferences and corporate decisions and outcomes

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University of Alabama Libraries

Corporate decisions and policies made by executives have real effects on the financial valuation of firms. Therefore, the behavior of executives, including underlying causes and subsequent implications, is important in the study of finance. This dissertation investigates executive behavior by examining how the political preferences of executives affect their corporate decisions and the subsequent outcomes. The first essay focuses on the impact of executive political preferences on mergers. Using a rare and hand-collected dataset of executive political donations and CEO retention following mergers, I investigate how shared political preferences between executives of merging firms affect the probability of a merger and subsequent merger outcomes. The second essay focuses on how CEO political preferences affect firm policies and market distribution. In this paper, I use the dataset of executive political donations to examine if Republican-led firms have less risky policies, such as less use of earnings management and lower likelihood of restating earnings. I also test if these less risky policies by Republican managers result in less risky stock return distributions for their firms.

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