From K street to wall street: Political connections and stock recommendations

Dane M. Christensen, Michael B. Mikhail, Beverly R. Walther, Laura A. Wellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine whether sell-side security analysts gain access to value-relevant information through political connections. We measure analysts' political connections based on political contributions at the brokerage-house level. We argue that if brokerages are able to obtain private information through their political connections, then analysts at politically connected brokerages should issue more profitable stock recommendations, and this increased profitability should be more pronounced for politically sensitive stocks. Our evidence is consistent with these predictions. Analyses of recommendations issued surrounding the Affordable Care Act further support our main inferences. Moreover, our findings hold after we employ numerous tests to address correlated omitted variables and endogeneity. Collectively, these results suggest that brokerages obtain value-relevant, nonpublic information from their political connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-112
Number of pages26
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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