Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Financial Economics

Department

Economics and Finance

Major Professor

M. Kabir Hassan

Second Advisor

Duygu Zirek

Third Advisor

Tarun Mukherjee

Fourth Advisor

Atsuyuki Naka

Fifth Advisor

Walter J. Lane

Abstract

The following dissertation contains two distinct empirical essays which contribute to the overall field of Financial Economics. Chapter 1 titles as “Corporate Lobbying, CEO Political Ideology and Firm Performance”. We investigate the influence of CEO political orientation on corporate lobbying efforts. Specifically, we study whether CEO political ideology, in terms of manager-level campaign donations, determines the choice and amount of firm lobbying involvement and the impact of lobbying on firm value. We find a generous engagement in lobbying efforts by firms with Republican leaning-managers, which lobby a larger number of bills and have higher lobbying expenditures. However, the cost of lobbying offsets the benefit for firms with Republican CEOs. We report higher agency costs of free cash flow, lower Tobin’s Q, and smaller increases in buy and hold abnormal returns following lobbying activities for firms with Republican managers, compared to Democratic and Apolitical rivals. Overall, our results suggest that the effects of lobbying on firm performance vary across firms with different managerial political orientations. Chapter 2 titled as “Corporate Lobbying and Labor Relations: Evidence from Employee” Litigations. We utilize employee litigations and other work-related complaints to examine if lobbying firms are favored in judicial process. We gather 27,794 employee lawsuits (after initial court hearing) between 2000 and 2014 and test the relationship between employee allegations and firms’ lobbying strategies. We find that employee litigations increase the number of labor-related bills in our sample. We document that the increase in employee lawsuits may drive firms into lobbying to change policy proposals. We also find robust evidence that the case outcome is different for lobbying firms compared to non-lobbying rivals, which may protect the shareholder wealth in the long run. Our results present that lobbying activities may make a significant difference in employee allegations. Our findings highlight the benefit of building political capital to obtain a biased outcome in favor of politically-connected firms.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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