Paving the Way for Children: Family Firm Succession and Corporate Philanthropy in China
26 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020
Date Written: October/November 2019
We investigate whether internal succession in family firms motivates founders to engage in corporate philanthropy. We argue that founders who intend to pass control of the firm to their children are likely to prepare for the internal succession by building up family assets such as reputation and political connections through corporate philanthropy. Supporting our argument, we find that both the likelihood and the amount of philanthropic donations increase when listed family firms in China are in the internal succession process. The effect of successions on philanthropic donations is stronger for family firms that have political connections or are located in areas with stronger government influence in the local economy. The effect concentrates on family firms when heirs are young and inexperienced. When heirs are established, family firms actually make fewer philanthropic donations. Our results remain robust after addressing endogeneity issues.
Keywords: corporate philanthropy, donation, family firms, succession
JEL Classification: G39, M14
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