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Ownership identity and corporate donations: evidence from a natural experiment in China

Ownership identity and corporate donations: evidence from a natural experiment in China Taking advantage of the 2008 Sichuan Great Earthquake as a natural experiment, the purpose of this paper is to examine the motives and effects of corporate donations by focusing on how firm ownership identity as the first-order governance mechanism affects the motives and effects of disaster relief donations.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conduct regressions and market event studies, and use matching to address the confounding effects of differences in firm characteristics.FindingsThe authors hypothesize that private firms that are better governed than state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are more likely to donate for value maximization. Consistent with this, the authors find that private firms are more likely to donate to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and donate more than SOEs. The effects of secondary governance variables in the donation determinant models (e.g. board independence and managerial ownership) are more consistent with the value maximization argument. While short-term market reaction to donation announcement is not significant for private firms, it is lower when SOEs make a large donation. Consistent with the hypothesis, the authors find that over the 24–36 months following the donation, private donors realize a higher abnormal stock return.Research limitations/implicationsThe study contributes to the debate over the merits/costs of corporate donations and helps better understand how SOEs and private firms (particularly family-owned firms) differ in their governance and financial decision-making.Practical implicationsBoth managers from private firms and SOEs can use the findings of this study to better guide their donation and other philanthropic decisions.Originality/valueThis study is the first to examine both the motives and effects of corporate donations by both private and SOEs taking advantage of the 2008 Sichuan, thereby significantly extending prior related studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Finance Review International Emerald Publishing

Ownership identity and corporate donations: evidence from a natural experiment in China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2044-1398
DOI
10.1108/cfri-11-2019-0154
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Taking advantage of the 2008 Sichuan Great Earthquake as a natural experiment, the purpose of this paper is to examine the motives and effects of corporate donations by focusing on how firm ownership identity as the first-order governance mechanism affects the motives and effects of disaster relief donations.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conduct regressions and market event studies, and use matching to address the confounding effects of differences in firm characteristics.FindingsThe authors hypothesize that private firms that are better governed than state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are more likely to donate for value maximization. Consistent with this, the authors find that private firms are more likely to donate to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and donate more than SOEs. The effects of secondary governance variables in the donation determinant models (e.g. board independence and managerial ownership) are more consistent with the value maximization argument. While short-term market reaction to donation announcement is not significant for private firms, it is lower when SOEs make a large donation. Consistent with the hypothesis, the authors find that over the 24–36 months following the donation, private donors realize a higher abnormal stock return.Research limitations/implicationsThe study contributes to the debate over the merits/costs of corporate donations and helps better understand how SOEs and private firms (particularly family-owned firms) differ in their governance and financial decision-making.Practical implicationsBoth managers from private firms and SOEs can use the findings of this study to better guide their donation and other philanthropic decisions.Originality/valueThis study is the first to examine both the motives and effects of corporate donations by both private and SOEs taking advantage of the 2008 Sichuan, thereby significantly extending prior related studies.

Journal

China Finance Review InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 23, 2020

Keywords: China; Donation; Philanthropy; SOE; Sichuan earthquake; G32; G34

References