Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

Open Lecture with Viktar Fedaseyeu

Open lecture of Viktar Fedaseyeu (Ph.D. Boston College), Professor at Bocconi University took place on the 10th of April at IPM Business School, where he presented his paper titled “Do CEOs Affect Employees’ Political Choices?” (joint work with Ilona Babenko and Song Zhang).

The work analyzes how the political preferences of CEOs affect their employees’ campaign contributions and electoral choices. It finds that employees donate almost three times more money to CEO-supported political candidates than to candidates not supported by the CEO. This relation also holds around CEO departures, including plausibly exogenous departures due to retirement or death. CEO influence is strongest in firms that explicitly advocate for political candidates and firms with politically connected CEOs. It also finds evidence that CEO influence increases political disagreement among members of the same household, which may be welfare-decreasing. Finally, employees are more likely to vote in elections in those congressional districts where CEOs are more politically active. Overall, the results suggest that CEOs are a political force.