Wharton Research Data Services Awards Best Paper Prize for Research Showing Big Value from Political Access

PHILADELPHIA--()--Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for corporate, academic and government institutions worldwide, is pleased to announce Jeffrey R. Brown, the Josef & Margot Lakonishok Professor of Business and Dean, and Jiekun Huang, Associate Professor of Finance at Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, as winners of the WRDS Best Paper Award at the Western Finance Association.

A part of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WRDS provides global corporations, universities and regulatory agencies the thought leadership, data access and insights needed to enable impactful research.

Their paper, “All the President’s Friends: Political Access and Firm Value” used public data from White House visitor logs during the Obama presidency to show that corporate executives’ visits to the White House are associated with positive stock price reactions. The new level of transparency ushered in under the Obama administration provided the novel data set and opportunity to connect political access with firm value.

Key points:

  • Brown and Huang’s research showed three types of positive outcomes for firms from such visits, including securing government procurement contracts, favorable regulatory decisions, and knowledge that helped firms gain insights about the direction of government policies.
  • The paper suggests that gaining access to policymakers is an important source of competitive advantage for firms, but it also raises questions about whether such visits facilitate quid-pro-quo exchanges or efficient information sharing between firms and elected officials.

For their paper, the researchers used ExecuComp, White House visitor logs, campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and CRSP return data.

“WRDS is pleased to present the WRDS Best Paper Award to Professors Brown and Huang for their efforts to understand the impact that corporate visits to the White House have on firm value,” said Robert Zarazowski, Managing Director of WRDS. “This project used a novel data set to examine a critical question about access and impact, and I congratulate both researchers for their innovative work.”

“Jiekun and I are truly grateful to WRDS for this Best Paper Award,” said Jeffrey R. Brown. “It is exciting to have our work recognized like this, and to be able to advance important conversations about firm access and impact.”

Their paper has garnered significant press attention.

“'All the president's friends': White House visits boost stock prices,” CNBC, 5/8/2017. [Link]

“Carl Icahn’s failed raid on Washington,” The New Yorker, 8/28/2017. [Link]

“Unproductive entrepreneurship is increasingly common in America,” The Economist, 8/3/2017. [Link]

“Researchers ferret out information from White House visitor logs,” NPR, 6/6/2017. [Link]

“When CEOs visit the White House, their companies profit,” Politico, 5/8/2017. [Link]

“Visiting the Trump White House may be good for your share price,” Financial Times, 7/20/2017. [Link]

“Research: Companies see a stock bump after executives visit the White House,” Harvard Business Review, 7/5/2017. [Link]

“Is America encouraging the wrong kind of entrepreneurship?” Harvard Business Review, 6/13/2017. [Link]

“When bosses visit the White House, their firms make more money,” The Economist, 5/18/2017. [Link]

“Companies that visit the White House perform better on the stock market,” Fortune, 5/17/2017. [Link]

“Visiting the White House can boost your stock price. So who’s visiting Trump?” Bloomberg, 5/8/2017. [Link]

“Do White House meetings boost a firm’s market value?” Wall Street Journal, 5/5/2017. [Link]

“Study documents how profitable access to Obama’s White House was,” Washington Examiner, 5/2/2017. [Link]

“Being a White House insider pays back in stock price gains,” Bloomberg, 5/1/2017. [Link]

“New study of White House visits finds corporate lobbying pays off,” Dow Jones MarketWatch, 5/1/2017. [Link]

Along with best paper awards, research support and the latest data available, WRDS is a leader in enabling impactful research. Through a first-of-its-kind collaboration with SSRN, WRDS is elevating the visibility of universities and researchers working across an array of fields. The WRDS Research Paper Series is a searchable repository of all papers submitted to SSRN that cite WRDS in their work, which will increase researcher visibility and build a specialized research base that will advance shared knowledge. In addition, the organizations have launched the WRDS-SSRN Innovation Award™ to honor emerging business schools in North America, Asia-Pacific, and EMEA. Learn more about how WRDS is driving impact: http://www.whartonwrds.com/about/our-impact/

About WRDS

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) provides the leading business intelligence, data analytics, and research platform to global institutions ̶ enabling comprehensive thought leadership, historical analysis, and insight into the latest innovations in academic research.

WRDS provides researchers with one location to access over 350 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Accounting, Banking, Economics, ESG, Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Marketing, and Statistics. Flexible data delivery options include a powerful web query method that reduces research time, the WRDS Cloud for executing research and strategy development, and the WRDS client server using PCSAS, Matlab, R and more. Our rigorous data review and validation give users the confidence to tailor research and create a wide range of reliable data models. WRDS unique array of Services offer access to a suite of analytics developed by our doctoral-level research team, tutorials, research support, and Classroom by WRDS -- a teaching and learning toolkit designed to introduce business concepts in the classroom. The WRDS Experience is more than just a data platform.

An award-winning data research platform for 50,000+ commercial, academic, and government users in 35+ countries, WRDS is the global gold standard in data management, innovative tools, analytics, and research services ̶ all backed by the credibility and leadership of the Wharton School.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 96,000 graduates.


Wharton Research Data Services
Robin Nussbaum Gold

Release Summary

Wharton Research Data Services Awards Best Paper Prize for Research Showing Big Value From Political Access


Wharton Research Data Services
Robin Nussbaum Gold