Investor Reactions to Food Safety Incidents: Evidence from the Chinese Milk Industry
Posted: 14 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 12, 2013
Using a natural experiment in the Chinese milk industry as background, this paper investigates the reactions of individual and institutional investors to food safety incidents. By classifying firms as either honest or dishonest, we find that: First, honest firms significantly outperform dishonest ones and receive more investment flow. Second, individual investors react to incidents more negatively and intensely, especially toward dishonest firms, compared with institutional investors. This study offers important policy implications: First, our findings directly suggest that the government should enact appropriate policies to strengthen food safety and protect consumers’ health. Second, the government should implement efficient mechanisms to strengthen firms’ incentives to participate in social responsibility activities. Third, having institutional investors as corporate monitors is not a sufficient substitute for legal penalties.
Keywords: Food safety incidents, Investor reaction, Firm values, Event study, Difference-in-differences
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