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Based on China's government‐business relations theory, we use difference‐in‐differences and causal forest to find that local green finance policies can significantly enhance corporate ESG performance especially for nonstate‐owned companies, companies with high levels of executive social capital, non‐heavily polluting companies, and companies in developed regions. We also find that the corporate financing constraint mitigation effect and the regional environmental regulation effect of local green finance policies are important mechanisms for promoting corporate ESG performance. Additionally, local green finance policies can strengthen the positive role of corporate ESG performance in enhancing corporate value, which is conducive to corporate sustainability.
International Review of Finance – Wiley
Published: May 22, 2023
Keywords: causal forest; corporate ESG performance; difference‐in‐differences; government‐business relations; local green finance policies
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