We use the balance of outstanding related-party loan guarantees (RPLG) issued by Chinese listed firms as a direct measure of tunneling. By adopting institutional perspectives and a difference-in-differences approach, we show that firms increased RPLG after the 2008 enterprise income tax reform. More importantly, domestic firms had larger increases of RPLG compared to foreign-invested firms during the post-reform period. This treatment effect is in line with domestic firms’ higher exposures to weak corporate governance, inefficient banking system, and weak legal environment in China. Further analysis shows that the treatment effect is stronger for private controlled domestic firms than government controlled domestic firms. Finally, the propensity of tunneling also increased after the tax reform for all types of firms but the treatment effects on the propensity of tunneling are insignificant. Our findings are robust in models control for firm exposure to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2015
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