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An Investigation of the Characteristics of Politically Connected Directors and Tax Avoidance Strategies
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I investigate whether cross-sectional differences among politically connected directors are associated with differences in tax avoidance behavior. Recent research suggests that the presence of politically connected directors impacts firms’ tax avoidance. However, it is likely that the influence of a politically connected director depends on the characteristics of the politically connected director. I extend this line of research and explore instances where the influence of politically connected directors on tax avoidance is likely to vary. First, I examine whether the political profile of political directors is related to firms’ tax avoidance activities. Second, I examine whether the director’s relationship to the political party in power impacts firms’ tax avoidance. Finally, I examine whether the length of a director’s government service influences firms’ level of tax avoidance. I find evidence of an association between the characteristics of political directors and firms’ tax avoidance strategies, but there is variation in the extent of the benefit that some politically connected directors provide. My study is the first study to attempt to empirically identify underlying mechanisms by which political directors influence firms’ tax avoidance strategies.
Polack, Lisa-Ann Maria (2017). An Investigation of the Characteristics of Politically Connected Directors and Tax Avoidance Strategies. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from