More than money: Political participation by elite business families

Published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 2024

Recommended citation: Duran, P., Ortiz, M., & Carney, M. (2024). More than money: Political participation by elite business families. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Business families directly participating in political roles have considerable influence in various countries. We explore political business families’ unique economic and social characteristics through a social embeddedness lens. We build a comprehensive dataset of Chilean business families and identify their direct political participation from 1989 to 2020. We find limited support for economic features tied to political participation, while social characteristics, such as nationally rooted origins, religious affiliations, and family generation, are shared features of political business families. We extend the literature by analyzing how business families with greater social embeddedness act as legitimate representatives of the big business class in the state.

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