Corporate social responsibility reporting in family firms: Evidence from China

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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance


We examine whether family firms differ from nonfamily firms in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting practice. Using a sample of Chinese firms, we find that, compared to nonfamily firms, family firms are more likely to have a system in place that guides the establishment and development of their CSR activities. Family firms are also more likely to adopt the GRI guidelines, and they disclose significantly more information about their CSR practice. The findings are consistent with the notion that family firms are more long-term oriented and as a result, they are more concerned about firm reputation and use CSR disclosure as a means to establish and maintain a good reputation and to legitimize their behavior. We further find that the positive relation between family firms and CSR disclosure exists mainly in those firms with relative high state ownership, which helps mitigate government expropriation risk. Our research contributes to the limited literature on the relation between family firms and CSR practice. We also contribute to the literature on the impact of government expropriation risk and its interaction with firm ownership structure on firm behavior.

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