What is it about?

I present a novel measure of partisan alignment between U.S. publicly traded firms and employees. The measure is created using big data on campaign donations of employees and the political action committees of their company of employment, from 2003 to 2016. The measure shows that employees align their campaign contributions with the party that their company donates to. Furthermore, firm- and occupation-level factors predict firm–employee alignment. These new data can be easily linked to external data on industries, firms, and occupations. Consequently, the data allow for more fine-grained analysis of how companies influence employees’ political activities.

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Why is it important?

Current research assumes that most individuals make campaign donations based on ideology or on how competitive an election is. The finding that employees political donors align their donations with their company suggests that individual donations are driven by investment considerations instead of ideology. Moreover, it means that corporations might be even more important in shaping political contributions and who gets elected than previously thought.

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This page is a summary of: Political alignment between firms and employees in the United States: evidence from a new dataset, Political Science Research and Methods, May 2020, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/psrm.2020.19.
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