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Politically connected directors and firm value: Evidence from forced resignations in China

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  • Tang, Xuesong
  • Lin, Yan
  • Peng, Qing
  • Du, Jun
  • Chan, Kam C.

Abstract

The Central Committee of the Communist Party in China issued the No. 18 Document on Oct 30, 2013 to ban government officials from taking any positions in Chinese firms. Using this decision as a unique natural experiment, we examine the causal relation between political connections and firm valuation. We find that the value of firms with politically connected directors drops significantly upon the announcements of the new rule and the resulting director resignations. Furthermore, the decline in valuation is more pronounced when a firm is in a regulated industry, and when a departing director is of vital importance for building and maintaining political connections. Moreover, non-state-owned enterprises suffer more loss of value than their state-owned peers following the resignations of politically-connected directors. Finally, firms exhibit insignificant value loss when their departing directors are of less political importance in allocating resources. These results suggest that hiring politically connected directors has a positive effect on firm valuation in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Xuesong & Lin, Yan & Peng, Qing & Du, Jun & Chan, Kam C., 2016. "Politically connected directors and firm value: Evidence from forced resignations in China," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:37:y:2016:i:c:p:148-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2016.04.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Wei, Chunyan & Hu, Shiyang & Chen, Feng, 2020. "Do political connection disruptions increase labor costs in a government-dominated market? Evidence from publicly listed companies in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    2. Hu, Rui & Karim, Khondkar & Lin, Karen Jingrong & Tan, Jinsong, 2020. "Do investors want politically connected independent directors? Evidence from their forced resignations in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    3. Cheng, Lei & Sun, Zhen, 2019. "Do politically connected independent directors matter? Evidence from mandatory resignation events in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    4. Li, Xiaorong & Zhang, Fan & Chan, Kam C., 2017. "Communist party committee direct control and the market value of corporate cash holdings," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 179-189.
    5. Ting Ren & Youzhi Xiao & Xinguo Yu & Hongyan Yang & Jianmei Ge, 2020. "Resignation of officials as independent directors and firm performance," Frontiers of Business Research in China, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, December.
    6. Liu, Baohua & Lin, Yan & Chan, Kam C. & Fung, Hung-Gay, 2018. "The dark side of rent-seeking: The impact of rent-seeking on earnings management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 94-107.
    7. López-Iturriaga, Félix J. & Santana Martín, Domingo Javier, 2019. "The payout policy of politically connected firms: Tunnelling or reputation?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    8. Fan, Jijian, 2021. "The effect of regulating political connections: Evidence from China's board of directors ban," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 553-578.

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