How important is the workplace for employees’ political donations? Contrary to research on workplace political mobilization, existing work assumes that most individual donors contribute ideologically. I link donations of employees and Political Action Committees (PACs) from 12,737 U.S. public companies between 2003 and 2018 to show that 16.7% of employee donations go to employer-PAC-supported candidates. I investigate the dynamics between employee and PAC donations within firm–legislator pairs over time and find that both rank-and-file employees and executives contribute more dollars to company-supported politicians. Firm–employee donation alignment is stronger on powerful and ideologically moderate politicians with high value for the employer. Results from a difference-in-differences design further show modest changes in the partisan composition of employee donations after swift changes in the partisan donations of corporate PACs. The results suggest investment-related rather than ideological motives for alignment and highlight the importance of corporations for money in politics.
American Political Science Review, August 2021, forthcoming