Anti-corruption and corporate environmental responsibility: Evidence from China's anti-corruption campaign

Zhongfei Chen, Mengling Zhou, Chunbo Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Taking advantage of China's vigorous anti-corruption campaign implemented in 2013, this study examines the impact of anti-corruption activities on the corporate environmental responsibility (CER) performance of listed Chinese enterprises from 2010 to 2016. The empirical analysis employs a Difference-in-Differences design to identify the causal effect by using the anti-corruption campaign as an exogenous policy shock. Results indicate that China's unprecedented anti-corruption campaign launched in 2013 significantly improves the CER performance of high-corruption enterprises. Such an effect is most evident for state-owned enterprises, especially local government-owned ones and those in pollution-intensive industries. These results remain after a series of robustness tests. The mechanism results suggest that the promotion effects of the anti-corruption campaign on CER performance can be achieved through environmental regulations, corporate rent-seeking, and innovation behaviors. Moreover, anti-corruption improves the profitability of enterprises, but the effect is significantly offset by increased CER activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102449
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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