The Dodd-Frank Act allows the SEC to choose either an administrative proceeding or a federal court as an enforcement venue for resolving violations of federal securities laws. I examine determinants and consequences of the SEC's choice of enforcement venue after the Dodd-Frank Act. Results show that material cases are 28–35 percent more likely to be assigned to federal courts, and politically connected defendants are about 14 percent more likely to be routed to administrative proceedings. While monetary penalties by venue are statistically indifferent, politically connected defendants in administrative proceedings are associated with lower penalties. Additionally, I find that administrative proceedings process cases 27 times faster than federal courts. Results suggest the SEC's private incentives affect enforcement venue selection and possibly enforcement outcomes. The SEC is more likely to use administrative proceedings when political and economic costs are greater, and use federal courts when political and economic benefits are greater.
JEL Classifications: G18; G28; G38; M41; M48; D72.