Thorsten Beck, Orkun Saka, 15 August 2021

Despite the commonly held views of economists on regulatory capture, our profession has been much more hesitant in recognising similar conflicts of interests that may exist in economics research. This column reports on the related discussions and research presented at the second London Political Finance (POLFIN) workshop, including work on the interaction between political power and corporate favouritism, the influence of partisanship on international capital flows, and political polarisation in financial news as well as in corporate boards. It lays out some of the important takeaways and suggests directions for further research that can shed light on the remaining issues.

Elisabeth Kempf, Margarita Tsoutsoura, 21 December 2018

Partisanship in the US is on the rise. With growing disagreement across voters of different political parties on key issues, understanding the potential implications of this trend for the US economy is of first-order importance. This column examines the degree to which partisan ideology affects the decisions of financial analysts. Using a novel dataset that links credit rating analysts to party affiliations from voter registration records, it shows that analysts who are not affiliated with the US president's party are more likely to downward-adjust corporate credit ratings.

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