The green effects of fund market – analysis based on institutional investors’ preference

Xiaoxia Jia, Bing Li, Zhangxin (Frank) Liu, Cong Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: As Chinese stock market develops and grows, mutual fund plays an increasingly important role for strong financial strength and good social resources. This paper aims to present an overview of fund investment effect, identify the investment preference of institutional investors and explore the socially responsible investment value of mutual fund, especially green fund. Design/methodology/approach: In order to test the green effects in the fund market, especially from the perspective of institutional shareholding, the authors build three panel data models to examine the attention, promotion and network effect respectively. Findings: In general terms, the authors obtain a positive relationship between mutual funds and green firms (attention effect). This positive relationship is conducted by the comparison of institutional shareholding level between green firms and non-green firms by using two-sample t-test. The authors find that although all the coefficients of mutual funds' shareholding variables are positively related to social performance, only the number of mutual fund shareholders shows slight significance. The authors observe a stronger promotion effect of green funds on social performance than the other mutual funds (promotion effect). From a network perspective as well as previous social capital research, the mutual funds shareholding network shows a significant and positive effect on the firm's social performance in the firm–fund network (CFClose) as well as in the firm–firm network (CCClose), while the coefficients of closeness in the firm and green fund network are positive but non-significant (network effect). Research limitations/implications: Although some valuable findings have been documented, there is a great potential to be further explored. For example, how to guide more green funds to solve the finance problem of middle and small-sized firms may be another crucial task for the point of view of government or industry level. While at the mutual fund level, it is essential to positively participate in and fulfill the environment duty of listed firms which can not only satisfy the expectation of environment value investment. Practical implications: The fund market has witnessed unprecedented growth in China and plays an important role in promoting the development of green industries. This indicates the practice of mutual funds as socially responsible investment in China. Some effective measures should be taken to incentive the mutual funds to continually invest in environment-friendly firms, which would benefit to the promotion of social performance driven by financing innovation. Social implications: The ESG issue is a global one that needs the participation of the countries worldwide. As one of the most important emerging markets, regulators in China should consider taking more action in promoting ESG concerns. To some extent, institutional investments can actually reflect how the responsible investments are going in this market. Originality/value: This paper provides a systematic empirical analysis of Chinese fund market in the view of institutional investor preference. Three green effects, namely attention, promotion and network effects, are put forward, which have not been employed in previous studies. Our work is useful for understanding sustainable finance which has been elevating into national strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-517
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023


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