Get access

Political Views and Corporate Decision Making: The Case of Corporate Social Responsibility


  • I thank Arnie Cowan, Peter Klein, David Levine, Chris Perignon, Chris Veld, seminar participants at the 2005 NFA meeting in Vancouver, and seminar participants at the 2006 CSR meeting at London Business School. A special thanks to Justin Bellew from KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. for providing the data. Research support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is gratefully acknowledged.

* Corresponding author: Finance Area, Faculty of Business Administration, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada; Tel: (778) 782-5834; Fax: (778) 782-4920; E-mail:


This paper conducts an empirical analysis of the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and political beliefs in the United States. By analyzing the 2004 presidential election results of communities in which corporate headquarters are located, we establish a correlation between the political beliefs of corporate stakeholders and the CSR ratings of their firms. Companies with a high CSR rating tend to be located in Democratic, or “blue” states and counties, while companies with a low CSR rating tend to be located in Republican, or “red” states and counties.