Nimrod David (Andy) Lehrer
Work in Progress
This study uses the 2015 legislature elections in Israel in order to estimate how the market evaluates political connections. Using the political connectedness of boards of directors and senior executives in all the public firms in Israel to identify political connections, the study estimates the impact of the electoral outcomes on the cumulative abnormal returns of firms listed in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in the days following the elections. Results indicate that political connections had little impact on cumulative abnormal returns in the estimation period. However, some sectors reacted in a robust and statistically significant manner. In particular, gas and oil firms' stock prices showed a notably higher and positive abnormal return. While the effect of the electoral outcomes on specific sectors indicates that the Israeli stock market does evaluate political outcomes through asset prices, the market's lack of responsiveness to political connections after the 2015 elections could indicate that political connections do not carry financial value in the Israeli stock market. This unique result is attributed to the institutional and political system in the country.