Does non-financial information disclosure promote firm's exports? Evidence from China's mandatory CSR reporting regulation

  • Xin CHEN

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


Although prior literature provides evidence on information technology's role in international trade, whether and how a firm's non-financial information disclosure affects export is underexplored. Using China's mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure as a quasi-natural experiment, we find that firms binding to the requirement significantly boost exports compared to their nonreporting peers. To understand the economic mechanisms, we propose that the positive impacts could be exposited through two channels: (1) information transparency and (2) financial constraint. The economic mechanism tests provide suggestive evidence that the effects are more substantial when firms are inferior in information transparency and financial constraint before the regulation. We also investigate what types of non-financial information matter for exports and which destination countries contribute more to such export boosts. Firstly, we find that firms with prior-low ESG disclosure levels exhibit more export upsurge, among which the labor protection disclosure is the most striking component. Moreover, we show that the export increase is concentrated in countries with a more stringent disclosure requirement, reflecting a reporting distance gravity. The disclosure level distance of destination countries partially explains why Chinese exports go more to certain countries after the regulatory shock. Overall, this paper highlights that international integration could be a key benefit for policymakers to promote a more transparent CSR disclosure in developing countries.
Date of Award11 Sept 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorDongxiao Larry QIU (Supervisor) & Yonglin Laura WANG (Co-supervisor)

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