Political Attitudes, Partisanship, and Merger Activity

"This paper provides novel evidence that similarity in employees’ political attitudes plays a role in mergers and acquisitions. Using detailed data on individual campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans, our estimates show that firms are considerably more likely to announce a merger, complete a merger, and a have shorter time-to-completion when their political attitudes are closer. Furthermore, acquisition announcement returns and post-merger operating performance are significantly higher when the acquirer and the target have more similar political attitudes. The effects of political partisanship on mergers are stronger in more recent years, when the political polarization in the U.S. is greater. Overall, we provide estimates that political attitudes and polarization have real effects on the allocation of assets in the economy."