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Brian Richter - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Brian Richter Brian Richter

Assistant Professor, Department of Business, Government and Society | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


Political economy, non-market strategy, business and politics, and corporate social responsibility


Areas of Expertise (5)

Strategic Management

Corporate Social Responsibility


Governmental Regulation



Brian Richter is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Government and Society Department at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

He is an interdisciplinary scholar primarily interested in improving the collective understanding of firms' interactions with governments and other non-market (societal and legal) actors and institutions. His academic research publications appear in leading journals in the management discipline (e.g. the Strategic Management Journal), the political science discipline (e.g. the American Journal of Political Science), and the economics discipline (e.g. the American Economic Journal; Applied Economics). He has also made his work accessible through pieces in highly regarded academic-practioner journals (e.g. the Harvard Business Review and the California Management Review).

Before joining the faculty at UT-Austin, he was an Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics, and Public Policy faculty at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Outside academia, he has worked in both the public and private sectors, in the U.S. and abroad, including time with the Federal Reserve (in Washington and San Francisco), the Central Intelligence Agency (in Langley), Nomura Securities (in New York), and Sanwa Bank (in Tokyo).



Brian Richter Publication



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Education (5)

University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management: Ph.D., Global Economics and Management 2010

Dissertation: "Essays in Political Economy and Finance".

University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management: C.Phil., Management 2009

University of California Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management: M.A., Economics 2007

University of California San Diego: M.P.I.A., Asian Markets and Economies 2004

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management: S.B., Management Science 2002

Media Appearances (4)

Case Study: Do Business and Politics Mix?

Harvard Business Review  online


As soon as Harold Leeson, the CEO of Natural Foods, pulled into the parking lot of his company’s headquarters, his phone rang. It was Kenneth King, one of his board members. Harold braced himself before answering. “This is a total mess,” Ken said immediately. “I know,” Harold replied, exhaustion creeping into his voice. “But our publicity team is telling me it’s going to calm down soon — people will forget about it.”...

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Obama uses fuzzy math to blame Bush for GM losses

Washington Times  online


But Brian Richter, an economist at the University of Texas, said such studies miss the key question of whether a company would have performed better ultimately without the government handout. He studied the impact on Chrysler and said the automaker would have been better off without the federal intervention, primarily because consumers are wary of buying from a company receiving a bailout.

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Chrysler Might Have Done Better Without Bailout, Study Says

Forbes  online


The study by economist Brian Kelleher Richter and colleagues Adam Fremeth and Guy L.F. Holburn is hardly likely to settle the debate over whether the Obama administration should have poured billions of dollars into the auto industry, which just happens to be concentrated in the key presidential election states of Michigan and Ohio.

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Republicans' spat with Delta could hurt Georgia's Amazon hopes

CNN  online


It also indicates the political environment may not be stable, according to Brian Richter, an assistant professor of business, government and society at the McCombs School of Business.

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Articles (7)

Brian Richter Citations Google Scholar

Listing of top scholarly work by Brian Richter.

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Campaign Contributions from Corporate Executives in Lieu of Political Action Committees The Journal of Law, Economics and Organization


Limiting corporate participation in electoral politics is a central focus of campaign finance reform. In this spirit, individual candidates for office have prohibited corporate-linked political action committees (PACs) from contributing to their campaigns. On the surface, such no-PAC policies might seem like an effective way to keep corporate-linked monies out of electoral politics; however, they ignore the reality that corporate monies have a variety of ways to find their way into candidates’ campaign accounts.

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Bridging Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Organizational Research: Applications of Synthetic Control Methodology in the US Automobile Industry Organization Science


We assess the utility of synthetic control, a recently developed empirical methodology, for applications in organizational research. Synthetic control acts as a bridge between qualitative and quantitative research methods by enabling researchers to estimate treatment effects in contexts with small samples or few occurrences of a phenomenon or treatment event.

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Using Item Response to Theory to Improve Measurement in Strategic Management Research: An Application to Corporate Social Responsibility Strategic Management Journal (Conditionally Accepted)


Strategic Management Society 2014 Best Conference Paper Prize, Honorable Mention.

We introduce item response theory (IRT) to management and strategy research. IRT explicitly models firms’ and individuals’ observable actions in order to measure unobserved, latent characteristics.

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Advancing Empirical Research on Lobbying Annual Review of Political Science


This review identifies empirical facts about lobbying that are generally agreed upon in the literature. It then discusses challenges to empirical research in lobbying and provides examples of empirical methods that can be employed to overcome these challenges—with an emphasis on statistical measurement, identification, and casual inference.

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Campaign Contributors over CEOs' Careers American Economics Journal: Applied Economics


Individuals dominate money in politics, accounting for over 90 percent of campaign contributions, yet studies of drivers of individuals' giving are scarce. We analyze data on all contributions made between 1991 and 2008 by all 1,556 people who became S&P 500 CEOs during that interval. We exploit variation in leadership status over these individuals' careers to identify that being an S&P 500 CEO causes a $4,029 or 137 percent jump per election cycle in personal giving.

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Profiting from Environmental Regulatory Uncertainty: Integrated Strategies for Competitive Advantage California Management Review


We offer two integrated strategies managers can use in the face of regulatory uncertainty vis-à-vis the natural environment. As integrated strategies, they both recognize non-market forces while taking into account market realities. Advocating for Pragmatic, Progressive Policy enables firms to shape future policy around existing environmental strengths; this strategy tips the scale towards a winning position by raising competitors’ costs when competitors have yet to develop identical competencies...

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