Managing the Risks of Corporate Political Donations

A Utilitarian Perspective

Shane Leong*, James Hazelton, Cynthia Townley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper applies a utilitarian analysis to corporate political donations. Unlike the more common rights-based analyses, it is argued that the optimal policy is the one that best satisfies society's rational preferences concerning donor influence, adequate financing, donor pressure and the cost of maintaining and enforcing the democratic system. This analysis suggests that a ban is best if it would be generally observed and sufficient financing from other sources is available, otherwise a donation cap is a better option. Further, lobbyists should be banned from donating small gifts and drafting bills for candidates. The impact of disclosure and other risk management mechanisms are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-445
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume118
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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