Jan Stuckatz

Jan Stuckatz

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

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About me

I am a PhD candidate in Political Science specializing in International Political Economy and Political Methodology. My research agenda combines political economy of trade and corporate influence in politics, with a special emphasis on firm-level analysis. This novel agenda is made possible by the availability of big data on corporate political activity and trade policy, and my unique training in machine learning techniques and data science tools. Throughout the academic year 2017/2018, I have been a visiting student at the Political Science Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Research interests: International Political Economy | International Trade | Corporate Influence in Politics | Quantitative Methods | Machine Learning and Big Data

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Essays on Corporate Influence in Politics

In my dissertation, I build on trade theory to examine the relationship between corporations and politics. Corporations play an increasingly significant role in politics today and understanding how corporations influence politics and respond to political change is therefore of growing importance. I study when political preferences of firms align with those of their employees, how this firm-employee alignment impacts a firm’s lobbying success, and how policy uncertainty impacts on a firm's economic activities. As an important empirical contribution, my research links big data on firm and employee donations, so that researchers can better study the political behaviour of individuals and companies.

Job market paper

Political Alignment between Firms and Employees: The Role of Asset Specificity

Do political preferences of employees align with those of their employers? I argue that firms with more specific assets are more vulnerable to adverse policy changes. Hence, the fate of jobs is tied more closely to the firm and employees are more likely to share political preferences with their employers. However, simultaneously observing both company and employee preferences is difficult in practice. I match 1,691,790 campaign contribution filings of 85,109 employees to 874 publicly listed firms using US campaign finance data between 2003 and 2016. I accomplish this by employing natural language processing to automatically identify employers and occupations. Holding constant individual occupation, I find that employees in companies with more specific assets are more aligned with their employer, and that most variation in alignment is at the industry-level. The results confirm long-standing expectations from trade theory about firm structure and political alignment and stress the continuing importance of sector-based models for political preference formation, despite a current trend towards occupation-based models.

Teaching record

  • IR209: International Political Economy (LSE, 2017-18)
  • SSPP362: International Trade (King’s College, 2016)
  • EC210: The International Financial System in a Post-Crisis World (LSE, 2018)