The Synergistic Financial Effect of Corporate Political Activities: The Case of Listed Canadian Companies

  •  Saidatou Dicko    


Corporate political activities can bring genuine political capital to firms and are an effective way to access key resources to boost financial capital and maximize profits. These activities fall into three categories: coopting ex-politicians to decision-making bodies (board of directors and top management) to benefit from their social capital; lobbying to directly influence public policy; and making financial contributions to the activities of political parties and committees. This study asks the following question: what is the combined effect of two of these activities (political connections and lobbying) on the financial and accounting indicators of Canadian listed companies? We argue that engaging in corporate political activities allows firms to accumulate a type of political capital that we define as the sum of all political activities conducted by an individual company. To perform our research, we analyzed Canadian companies listed on the S&P/TSX composite index from 2012 through 2016. Results show that firms with this type of political capital are generally in a better financial position than those without it. A significant correlation was found between a firm’s political capital and its main sources of financing (equity and long-term debt) as well as with its ROE. Political capital has more positive impacts on key firm financial indicators than does each type of political activity on its own (synergistic effect).

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