The organization has not heard of many instances of such behavior, Schacht said, noting that many securities analysts are not members of it.
Spokesmen for the SEC had no immediate comment.
The new study found that doing two favors for an analyst after a company released lower-than-forecast earnings reduced by half the likelihood of the analyst downgrading the company's stock. Sixty-three percent of the analysts surveyed received favors from CEOs, chief financial officers and other top executives.
Frequent favors done by corporate executives for analysts, according to the study:
* Putting the analyst in touch with a top executive of another company, the most frequently reported favor representing 28 percent of all favors.
* Giving the analyst career advice, 20 percent.
* Offering to meet with an analyst's clients, 13 percent.
* Providing advice to the analyst on a personal matter, 11 percent.
* Providing industry information to the analyst, 10 percent.
* Recommending the analyst for a job, 8 percent.
* Helping the analyst gain access to a private club or non-professional organization, 6 percent.
"Our findings provide multifaceted evidence for social influence and reciprocity in relations between top executives and the analysts who cover their firms," Westphal and Clement wrote. "The results suggest that favor-rendering is used as a social-influence tactic by top executives in their relations with [securities] analysts."
In addition, they say, bestowing such favors brings more positive stock recommendations from the analysts who receive them.