Politically Smart: Political Sentiment Signaling of Private Enterprises
45 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2023
Date Written: September 4, 2023
We examine communication of political connections in corporate China, and show that politically inclined positive words—words in connotation of political sentiment—serve as a distinct and effective signaling device for corporate political connections. Using a large sample of corporate news, we find that news’ political sentiment, instead of orthodox political measures such as occurrences of political nouns and political entities, reflects executives’ political connections for private enterprises, and is related to rent-seeking benefits in government subsidy, tax refund, financing constraints and political risk. Our results demonstrate that political sentiment is an effective way to decode subtle corporate political connections in modern China’s “Mind Politics” environment that infiltrates into private corporations.
Keywords: political sentiment; signaling; China; private enterprises; mind politics; political connections
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