Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jianping Qi

Co-Major Professor

Christos Pantzalis


CEO Conservatism, M&A, Political Ideology, Value Creation


In the first essay, we examine the link between CEOs political ideology - conservatism - and their firms' investment decisions. We focus on the effect of CEO conservatism on M&A decisions. Our evidence indicates that politically conservative CEOs are less likely to engage in M&A activities. When they do undertake acquisitions, their firms are more likely to use cash as the method of payment, and the target firms are more likely to be public firms and to be from the same industry. Conditional on the merger, CEO conservatism appears to have a significantly positive impact on long-run firm valuation. However, we find no evidence that conservative CEOs create value in the short run. All our results hold after controlling for CEO overconfidence. In the second essay, we investigate the impact of difference in local political ideologies between acquirers and targets on the likelihood of deal completion and announcement returns over the period of 1981-2009. We posit that increase in political ideology distance between acquirer and target leads to greater risks/costs associated with the integration process. This increase in distance is less likely to allow for the completion of deals and elicit less favorable market response to merger announcements. We find that when political ideology distance between acquirer and target in a merger are minimal, deals are more likely to be completed. We also find that acquirer which are politically proximate to their targets earn significantly higher returns than distant acquirers. After controlling for the geographic effect and other determinants of announcement returns, the political ideology effect still exists. Overall, the evidence suggests that corporate political ideology plays an important role in completing deals and determining announcement returns.