Political Entrepreneurship: Do Bad Ethics Pay?
|Speaker:||Arif Khurshed, University of Manchester|
|Date: ||Tuesday 21 January 2020|
|Time: ||13:45 - 15:15|
|Location: ||Constantine Leventis Teaching Room, Building One|
This study examines whether entrepreneurs benefit from taking political office. We study the regulated Thai telecoms industry from its inception in the early 1980s. We identify a ‘treatment group’ of firms owned by an entrepreneur turned politician, who rose to prime minister in 2001 and was deposed in 2007. We find that political connections are valuable during political and economic crises. While entrepreneurs are likely to extract benefits from informal ties with politicians and from less visible political connections, they are less likely to benefit from holding top political office themselves. This is partly due to the greater visibility of high public office and the scrutiny this attracts from media and political opposition. The business model of political entrepreneurship is likely to be copied by business rivals causing political rents to be shared or competed away.