Trust, Politics and Post-IPO Performance: SOEs vs. the Private Sector
Economic and Political Studies,
This paper empirically investigates the role of social trust in the long-term performance of the initial public offerings (IPOs) in China, controlling for the formal institutional environment. We find that privately owned or smaller IPO firms experience significantly better post-IPO performance when they are incorporated in regions with more social trust. The state-owned and bigger IPO firms, on the other hand, experience better long-term post-IPO performance when they are incorporated in regions with stronger formal institutions (e.g. court enforcement and contract holding). Political pluralism turns out to benefit all IPOs in the long term. In addition, our evidence shows that stronger social trust substitutes for the quality of court enforcement but complements the role of contract holding. These results are robust after controlling for alternative definitions of ownership, outliers, non-linear effects of institutions, and the potential endogeneity of institutions in the model.
Hollywood, Wall Street, and Mistrusting Individual Investors
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization,
Individual investors reduce their trading activity in financial markets after the release of negatively biased Hollywood movies related to financial markets. These movies regularly depict financial markets and professionals active in them as marked by greed and corruption (Lichter et al. 1997). This decline in trading activity at the extensive margin comes together with depressed investor sentiment marked by higher likelihoods and volumes of selling than of buying transactions by those investors still active. Their avoidance of investing in and tendency to trade out of stocks related to companies in the financial industry, as well as their shift from actively managed mutual funds to passive vehicles (ETFs), provide evidence for the deterioration of investors’ trust in the financial industry and its managers. This channel is in line with existing literature on subjective beliefs in investment decisions and the impact of biased media coverage, such as the negative depiction of financial markets, shareholders, and managers in Hollywood movies.
Institutions and Corporate Reputation: Evidence from Public Debt Markets
Journal of Business Ethics,
Using data from China’s public debt markets, we study the value of corporate reputation and how it interacts with legal and cultural forces to assure accountability. Exploring lawsuits that change corporate reputation, we find that firms involved in lawsuits experience a decrease in bond values and a tightening of borrowing terms. Using the heterogeneities in legal and social capital environments across Chinese provinces, we find the effects are more pronounced for private firms, firms headquartered in provinces with low legal protections, and firms headquartered in provinces with high social capital. The results show that lawsuits that allege misconduct are associated with reputational penalties and that such penalties serve as substitutes for legal protections and as complements to cultural forces to provide ex post accountability and motivate ex ante trust.
Trust and Contracting with Foreign Banks: Evidence from China
Journal of Asian Economics,
We empirically investigate whether firms doing business in regions characterized as having high social trust receive preferential treatment on loan contractual terms by foreign banks. Tracing cross-border syndicated lending activities in China, we document that firms located in provinces with higher social trust scores obtain significantly low costs of bank loans and experience less stringent collateral requirement. To address the potential endogeneity issues, we adopt an instrumental variable approach and a two-sided matching model, and report consistent results. We also estimate a system of three equations through three-stage-least square estimator to accommodate the joint determination of price and non-price terms in loan contracts. In addition, we find that the effect of social trust on cost of bank loans is more prominent for firms located in provinces with relatively less developed formal institutions.
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