Accession Number:

ADA586223

Title:

Political Connections of the Boards of Directors and Defense Contractors' Excessive Profits

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND PUBLIC POLICY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

22.0

Abstract:

Despite the fast-growing interest in research on the political connections of either private-sector firms or states, most of the research belongs to the economics or public administration fields. There are few studies, if any, that look into the role of firms political connections in the defense acquisition area. This paper makes an effort to bridge this gap by investigating the impact of political connections on the excessive profitability of defense contractors. Wang and San Miguel 2012 documented that defense contractors earn excessive profits relative to their industry counterparts. This study extends Wang and San Miguel 2012 to examine whether defense contractors political connections as measured by the prior employment histories of their boards of directors influence contractors excessive profitability. We find that, in contrast to the prediction of the corruption hypothesis, the excessive profits are less pronounced for those contractors with politically connected boards, and more pronounced for those contractors with politically unconnected boards. This finding casts doubt on the preconceived notion that those politically connected board members are corrupt in nature. Rather, our findings suggest that they may use their experience to serve a benevolent role to the public in keeping defense contractors from opportunistic profits-seeking behaviors that could reach or even cross the federal governments regulatory redline.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE