Corporations are facing a growing demand for the transparency of political contributions. In the United States, this demand has largely focused on the implementation of a mandatory disclosure law. It rests on the assumption that legal enforcement can make it easier to observe the ties between corporations and political parties. In this study, I challenge this assumption. I build my case by first developing a conceptual foundation of corporate political transparency (CPT). I argue that in the absence of economic benefits, legal enforcement has a limited effect on CPT. Instead of encouraging transparency, mandatory disclosure can lead to the concealment of corporate political contributions. To develop a model of concealment, I borrow the characterizations of disguise from theatrical drama. Using the context of Indian firms, I show the limitation of mandatory disclosure and the efficacy of regulatory incentive. My study highlights the need for a broader debate on CPT to understand the relative implications of regulatory policies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- campaign contributions
- corporate political activity
- corporate political contributions
- corporate political transparency