Political connections of new business ventures

Kallias, Konstantinos (2016) Political connections of new business ventures. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The perceived capability of corporate organizations to influence politics, although fueling an ongoing public debate, features in literature as a source of probable benefits. According to the majority of the pertinent studies, these benefits, more often than not, materialize with important value-adding implications. In the U.S. context, whereby political money contributions constitute the prevalent way of establishing connections, this can result in a hefty return on a firm’s political investment.

Our research posits that if political connections formed via monetary donations elevate the donor to a higher status, this should reflect in circumstances whereby a firm needs to assert its quality to other economic agents. This is the case for firms that are plagued by the market newness liability. Whether as a form of insurance from tail risk or entitlement to economic rents, proximity to politics offers legitimacy and a compelling way of introducing a new venture to the marketplace. To prove this conjecture, we mainly draw from IPOs for representing a setting of acute uncertainty.

Our findings confirm that both lobbying and PAC (Political Action Committee) expenditure pays off on listing day as donors incur less underpricing; an effect which can be amplified with contribution size and strategic targeting of recipients. Donor IPOs also experience negative offer price revisions and lower aftermarket volatility. Collectively, these results offer new empirical grounding to uncertainty and signaling theories.

Subsequently, we frame IPO pricing as an efficiency problem for prospective issuers and develop an approach of general application in finance, where relationships of influence are suspected. Rather than imposing a regression-based framework, we allow relationships to manifest themselves in a data-driven manner. Our analysis reveals nonlinearities between IPO pricing efficiency and the two contribution avenues (justifying the fully nonparametric treatment). We are able to uncover relationships separately according to business sector, which we interpret in terms of varied competitive environments.

Broadening up our scope prior to and after the IPO event, we document that connected firms are associated with a longer time to venture or other equity capital financing, attesting to a greater financial autonomy. Additionally, they attain larger market shares and have a superior likelihood of survival in the public domain.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance > HG4001 Finance management. Business finance. Corporation finance
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 11:36
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2016 11:36
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61505

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