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Backscratching in banks: political cycles in bank manager appointments

Jonas Markgraf

Political Science Research and Methods, 2022, vol. 10, issue 3, 667-674

Abstract: Close ties between politicians and businesses affect firms’ performance and political outcomes, and while direct political control over firms has been curtailed by tightened regulation, political connections remain ubiquitous in many countries. Yet, it is unclear through which channels these linkages are maintained in strictly regulated environments. I speculate that one such channel of political control over firms is politicians’ ability to influence corporate appointment decisions. To test the claim, I employ survival models that analyze chairpersons’ turnovers in 90 Spanish savings banks between 1985 and 2010 and find strong evidence for electoral appointment cycles: bank chairpersons are more likely to lose office shortly after regional elections and when new governments enter office.

Date: 2022
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