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Published in: Journal of Business Ethics 2/2022

01-01-2021 | Original Paper

How Foreign Institutional Shareholders' Religious Beliefs Affect Corporate Social Performance?

Authors: Xuezhou Zhao, Libing Fang, Ke Zhang

Published in: Journal of Business Ethics | Issue 2/2022

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Abstract

In this paper, we employ the unique qualified foreign institutional investors (QFII) scheme in China to investigate whether and how the different religious beliefs in the areas where foreign institutional shareholders from are associated with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance of domestic firms. After controlling for other determinants, we find robust evidence that firms with QFII investors from areas with stronger religious beliefs have better CSR performance than those that do not have these beliefs'. This association is more pronounced when a QFII has a shorter holding period, has a relatively large ownership in the firm, or is a more committed investor in China. The above moderating results show that the stock preference may be a channel through which religious QFIIs affect firms’ CSR performance. Our paper contributes to the growing body of literature on CSR and on the effects of investors’ religious beliefs. It also offers useful guidance to listed companies, institutional investors, regulators, and other stakeholders.
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Footnotes
1
The QFII scheme was established in 2002. It allows foreign access to China's equity markets with restrictions on investment ratios, quotas, targets, and capital remittance controls.
 
2
The ARDA (Association of Religion Data Archives) shows that, in 2015, 38.8% of Chinese people identified as atheists and that China was ranked 8th in atheistic belief among 243 countries around the world. Source: http://​www.​thearda.​com/​internationalDat​a/​countries/​Country_​52_​1.​asp.
 
3
See “CG watch: Corporate governance in Asia 2003” for more details, available at www.​acga-asia.​org.
 
5
Hexun.com uses different weights to evaluate firms in the consumption, manufacturing, and service industry. For detailed evaluation process please refer to http://​stock.​hexun.​com/​2013-09-10/​157898839.​html.
 
6
It is notable that in the multiple membership hierarchical linear model, the variables at higher levels are usually added into the model in the form of weight averages. However, the holdings of these QFIIs are already scaled by the total number of shares of each firm. Thus, we include the sum of religious QFII holdings and atheistic QFII holdings into the model.
 
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Metadata
Title
How Foreign Institutional Shareholders' Religious Beliefs Affect Corporate Social Performance?
Authors
Xuezhou Zhao
Libing Fang
Ke Zhang
Publication date
01-01-2021
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Business Ethics / Issue 2/2022
Print ISSN: 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN: 1573-0697
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04705-z