Matilde Bombardini

Closed (1) Corporate Philanthropy and Political Influence: Consequences for Policy and Regulation

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

This is an ongoing project, joint with Professors Marianne Bertrand (Booth School of Business), Raymond Fisman (Boston University), Bradley Hackinen (Ivey School of Business) and Francesco Trebbi (Haas School of Business). We are interested in understanding the role of corporate charitable giving in the overall political strategy of large corporations. We have for example showed how corporate giving tends to flow to US districts represented by Congressmen that sit on important committees from the point of view of the firms that are making gifts.
In this related project we are studying how corporations contribute to non-profits that are involved in the rulemaking process. We have so far found that non-profits that receive grants from corporations tend to send comments to the regulator that are aligned with those sent by the firm. For this project we are using computational linguistics tools that allow us to analyze large quantities of regulatory and other text.

We have employed many undergraduate students in this project in the past and tasks have gone from cleaning and working with datasets on corporations, charitable foundations, political giving and charitable giving, to writing scripts to scrape websites for such data. We also value critical reading skills as we ask students to read regulatory text and code the slant of the text, e.g. whether the regulatory change was in favour of a corporation or against. We usually involve undergraduate students in weekly meetings with graduate students and other collaborators, so you will discuss with me your progress at least once a week.

Qualifications: The most important qualification is deep interest in the topic of corporate philanthropy and regulation! Familiarity with Stata, R and/or Python are a definite plus, but we will have roles for undergraduate students who are more interested in the regulatory text analysis and reading. Students in economics, business, computer science, linguistics, political science, law and public policy are the main target of this posting, but others interested in the topic are very welcome to apply.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: All interactions will take place via Zoom.