Corporate Political Transparency

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3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-678
Number of pages35
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • India
  • campaign contributions
  • corporate political activity
  • corporate political contributions
  • corporate political transparency
  • disguise


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