• Lauren Cohen


December 2020, Paper: "In this paper, we examine the influence of political motives on regulatory enforcement against bribes. Using case-level data from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice, we show that in the year leading up to U.S. Senate elections, the probability of FCPA enforcement actions increases significantly for foreign firms, spiking 23% (t=3.04), but not U.S. firms. We use exogenous variation in the timing and geographic location of U.S. Congressional elections to establish identification of our effects at the fine geographic level. We see parallel trends leading up, and following, elections, and placebo tests in time – and for other investigations, show no such patterns. Moreover, the actions appear to be related to measures of economic interest and political interest at these local levels."

Non-HKS Author Website - Lauren Cohen