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How do investors respond to Green Company Awards in China?


  • Lyon, Thomas
  • Lu, Yao
  • Shi, Xinzheng
  • Yin, Qie


We find that firms winning Green Company Awards in China from 2008 to 2011 experienced on average insignificant and in some cases significantly negative effects on shareholder value. Various robustness checks suggest that these findings are not driven by the inefficiency of the Chinese stock market or a lack of perceived credibility of the award. In addition, we find important variation in the responses across firms: shareholders of firms in low-pollution industries and firms with primarily private ownership responded more negatively to award announcements. Furthermore, the peers of winning firms showed higher announcement returns than the award winners. Our results suggest that a key benefit of corporate environmentalism in China comes through building stronger relationships with government, and that otherwise the market generally discourages firms from environmental leadership.

Suggested Citation

  • Lyon, Thomas & Lu, Yao & Shi, Xinzheng & Yin, Qie, 2013. "How do investors respond to Green Company Awards in China?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:94:y:2013:i:c:p:1-8
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.06.020

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    Cited by:

    1. Kun Tracy Wang & Dejia Li, 2016. "Market Reactions to the First-Time Disclosure of Corporate Social Responsibility Reports: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 661-682, November.
    2. Xu, Su Xiu, 2021. "Overexploitation Risk in “Green Mountains and Clear Water”," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    3. Fu, Tong & Jian, Ze, 2020. "A developmental state: How to allocate electricity efficiently in a developing country," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    4. Hu, Cui & Tan, Yong, 2016. "Export spillovers and export performance in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 75-89.
    5. Xiuping Hua & Ying Jiang & Qian Sun & Xinyi Xing, 2019. "Do antidumping measures affect Chinese export-related firms?," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 871-900, April.
    6. Crowley, Meredith & Meng, Ning & Song, Huasheng, 2018. "Tariff scares: Trade policy uncertainty and foreign market entry by Chinese firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 96-115.
    7. Shreekant Gupta & Bishwanath Goldar & Shubham Dang, 2019. "Environmental Performance And Capital Markets--Evidence From India," Working papers 303, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    8. Meng, Ning & Milner, Chris & Song, Huasheng, 2020. "Antidumping and heterogeneous quality adjustment of multi-product firms: Evidence from Chinese exporters," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 147-161.
    9. Biao Li & Kekun Wu, 2017. "The Price of Environmental Sustainability: Empirical Evidence from Stock Market Performance in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-1, August.
    10. Yu, Ellen Pei-yi & Luu, Bac Van & Chen, Catherine Huirong, 2020. "Greenwashing in environmental, social and governance disclosures," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C).
    11. Hailiang Zou & Xuemei Xie & Guoyou Qi & Mengyu Yang, 2019. "The heterogeneous relationship between board social ties and corporate environmental responsibility in an emerging economy," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 40-52, January.
    12. Jing‐Lin Duanmu & Maoliang Bu & Russell Pittman, 2018. "Does market competition dampen environmental performance? Evidence from China," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(11), pages 3006-3030, November.
    13. Chandra, Piyush, 2016. "Impact of temporary trade barriers: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 24-48.
    14. Wang, Yanbing & Delgado, Michael S. & Khanna, Neha & Bogan, Vicki L., 2019. "Good news for environmental self-regulation? Finding the right link," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 217-235.
    15. Lam, Hugo K.S. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Cheng, T.C.E. & Humphreys, Paul K., 2016. "Corporate environmental initiatives in the Chinese context: Performance implications and contextual factors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 48-56.
    16. Francesco Testa & Ivan Miroshnychenko & Roberto Barontini & Marco Frey, 2018. "Does it pay to be a greenwasher or a brownwasher?," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 1104-1116, November.
    17. Fatemi, Ali & Glaum, Martin & Kaiser, Stefanie, 2018. "ESG performance and firm value: The moderating role of disclosure," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 45-64.
    18. Thiam Hee Ng, . "Bond Financing for Renewable Energy in Asia," Chapters, in: Shigeru Kimura & Youngho Chang & Yanfei Li (ed.),Financing Renewable Energy Development in East Asia Summit Countries A Primer of Effective Policy Instruments, chapter 11, pages 321-342, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    19. Xiaohua Meng & Saixing Zeng & Xuemei Xie & Hailiang Zou, 2019. "Beyond symbolic and substantive: Strategic disclosure of corporate environmental information in China," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 403-417, February.
    20. Stefano Schiavo & Chiara Tomasi & Min Zhu, 0. "Anti-dumping activities against China: patterns and effects," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 0, pages 1-24.
    21. Dylan Minor, 2015. "The Value of Corporate Citizenship: Protection," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-021, Harvard Business School.
    22. Sam, Abdoul G. & Zhang, Xiaodong, 2020. "Value relevance of the new environmental enforcement regime in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    23. Tibor Besedeš & Thomas J. Prusa, 2017. "The Hazardous Effects Of Antidumping," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 9-30, January.

    More about this item


    Green Company Award; Corporate social responsibility; Shareholder value; Event study; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law


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