Determinants of PAC Participation Among Large Corporations

Marick F. Masters, Gerald Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Political scientists and other researchers have begun to focus increasingly on the role of interest groups in American politics. In particular, they have devoted increasing attention to the political representation of institutional interests. Several studies have been published that examine various aspects of business political action committees. However, there has been a tendency to treat business PACs as pervasive or homogenous, despite the fact that most businesses do not have a PAC. This study has attempted to address this deficiency by examining the determinants of PAC participation among Fortune-ranked firms in the 1981–1982 election period. Using an exploratory expected benefits-costs framework, the study empirically tests hypotheses on the effect of organizational and contextual factors on the probability of a corporation having an active PAC. The results support several hypotheses and suggest that the expected benefits and costs of PAC activity affect a corporation's decision to form a PAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1158-1173
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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