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Recent trends in corporate political disclosure for a sample of S&P 500 firms: a new and emerging corporate disclosure area

D. G. DeBoskey () and Yan Luo
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D. G. DeBoskey: San Diego State University
Yan Luo: San Diego State University

International Journal of Disclosure and Governance, 2018, vol. 15, issue 3, 176-184

Abstract: Abstract Recently, corporate stakeholders and regulators, such as the United States Congress and the Parliament of the United Kingdom as well as professional organizations (e.g., the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute), have called for more transparent disclosure of political activities. In this general discussion article, we analyze the recent developments in a related emerging area of corporate non-financial disclosure: corporate political disclosure (CPD). Using the USA as our experimental setting, we deploy a trended descriptive and comparative analysis of CPD practices for a sample of S&P 500 firms (2011–2016) based on a new CPD index developed by the Center for Political Accountability and the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. We find that firms’ CPD increases year over year. Notably, industries that are more regulated and are more politically sensitive (such as chemicals and allied products, healthcare and drugs, and utilities) are more transparent in their CPD than other industries (such as consumer durables). This study has important implications for emerging and developed countries where political activity interacts with corporate governance. It is especially relevant to the role of the board of directors in overseeing the transparency and accountability of a company’s political activities.

Keywords: Corporate political disclosure; Transparency; Political activities; Accountability; Corporate governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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