The Impact of Logic (In)Compatibility: Green Investing, State Policy, and Corporate Environmental Performance
Environmental protection is widely perceived as a state responsibility, but market-based solutions such as green investing have emerged in the financial sector. Little research has addressed whether green investing can affect corporate environmental performance and how the state would moderate such an impact. Using an institutional logics perspective, we extend the literature on institutional complexity by exploring the factors leading to compatibility of logics and practices. We theorize that the success of green investing as a novel hybrid practice combining financial means and environmental goals depends on the legitimacy it achieves as an appropriate solution to the stated goal, and this legitimacy can be boosted or dampened by other hybrid practices in the field. Analyzing a panel dataset of 3,706 firms from 20 countries between 2002 and 2013, we find a positive relationship between the relative size of green investment in the economy and firm-level environmental performance in that country. This relationship is moderated by state policies: a strong environmental protection policy weakens the positive relationship between green investing and corporate environmental performance, and a strong shareholder protection policy strengthens the relationship. We contribute to research on institutional complexity, logic compatibility, and public–private cooperation in pursuing the common good.
1 Dec 2021
Administrative Science Quarterly
We study the global diffusion of culture through multinationals, focusing on gender norms. Using data on manufacturing firms in China from 2004 to 2007, we find that foreign affiliates from countries with a more gender-equal culture tend to employ proportionally more women and appoint more female managers. They also generate cultural spillovers, as we find that domestic firms' female labor share increases with the prevalence of foreign affiliates in the same industry or city. Based on a multi-sector model that accounts for firm heterogeneity in productivity, gender bias, and learning, we perform counterfactual exercises. By hypothetically eliminating firms' gender biases, we observe a 5% increase in China's aggregate total factor productivity, 19% of which is due to spillovers from foreign affiliates.
1 Nov 2021
Journal of International Economics
Inspired by the recent health science findings that air pollution affects mental health and cognition, we examine whether air pollution can intensify the cognitive bias observed in the financial markets. Based on a proprietary data set obtained from a large Chinese mutual fund family consisting of complete trading information for more than 773,198 accounts in 247 cities, we find that air pollution significantly increases investors’ disposition effects. Analysis based on two plausible exogenous variations in air quality (the vast dissipation of air pollution caused by strong winds and the Huai River policy) supports a causal interpretation. Mood regulation provides a potential mechanism.
1 Nov 2021
Journal of Financial Economics
Since Max Weber, Confucianism has been widely viewed as being in opposition to capitalist or modern growth in historical China, especially in comparison with the rise of Western Europe after the Protestant Reformation. In pre-19th century China, the absence of industrialization or capitalism is partially attributed to the conservative nature of Confucian culture, particularly the emphasis on the ‘adjustment’ to the world and the depreciation of pursuing wealth, among others. And perhaps more importantly, the clan as a tangible organization of Confucianism restricted interpersonal cooperation to the family or lineage scope. Such ‘kinship-based morality’, in contrast to the ‘generalised morality’ enforced by market institutions in the West, paved the way for China’s divergent developmental path from the West. In a recent study, Zhiwu Chen, Andrew Sinclair and Chicheng Ma find another channel through which Confucianism inhibits capitalism: competition in financial markets.
29 Nov 2021
Thirty one academics of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) have been named by Clarivate in its list of “Highly Cited Researchers 2021” as the most influential in the world. Their works have been highly cited by fellow academics and are hence making a significant impact in ongoing research in their respective fields of study. The number of world’s top researchers at HKU has more than doubled that of 2020’s, and remains to be the highest among universities in Hong Kong. It is also the first time that HKU is listed among the top 50 universities globally. Highly Cited Researchers are selected for their exceptional research performance, determined by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.
22 Nov 2021