Political connections and white-collar crime: Evidence from insider trading in France

Thomas Bourveau, Renaud Coulomb, Marc Sangnier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates whether political connections affect individuals' propensity to engage in white-collar crime. We identify connections by campaign donations or direct friendships and use the 2007 French Presidential election as a marker of change in the value of political connections to the winning candidate. We compare the behavior of Directors of publicly listed companies who were connected to the future President to the behavior of other non-connected Directors, before and after the election. Consistent with the belief that connections to a powerful politician can protect someone from prosecution or punishment, we uncover indirect evidence that connected Directors are more likely to engage in suspicious insider trading after the election: Purchases by connected Directors trigger larger abnormal returns, connected Directors are less likely to comply with trading disclosure requirements in a timely fashion, and connected Directors trade closer in time to their firms' announcements of results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2543-2576
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of the European Economic Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


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