No! We are shocked. Shocked! I tells ya.
Looking at all of the firms listed on the S&P 1500 Composite Index, they find that companies that make above median political contributions received 6.1 to 8.6 times more federal contracts than those making below median contributions. In addition, larger contributors receive larger contracts that are together nearly 17-fold more valuable than the aggregate of those contracts made with companies whose contributions fell below the median.
Additionally, Ferris and Houston wanted to find out whether larger contributors got better contractual terms, that is, sweetheart deals. To probe this, they constructed a four-point Sweetheart Index based on contractual terms that are clearly advantageous to the contractor but not necessarily so for the government. Specifically, they scanned government contracts for no-bid, cost-plus, multi-year, and exemption from cost and pricing data provisions. Obviously, all four provisions enhance the profitability of the contracts. So what did Ferris and Houston find?