Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 661–716 | Cite as

Does Confucianism Reduce Minority Shareholder Expropriation? Evidence from China



Using a sample of 12,061 firm-year observations from the Chinese stock market for the period of 2001–2011 and geographic-proximity-based Confucianism variables, this study provides strong evidence that Confucianism is significantly negatively associated with minority shareholder expropriation, implying that Confucianism does mitigate agency conflicts between the controlling shareholder and minority shareholders. This finding suggests that Confucianism has important influence on business ethics, and thus can serve as an important ethical philosophy or social norm to mitigate the controlling shareholder’s unethical expropriation behavior. Moreover, my findings reveal that the nature of the ultimate owner attenuates the negative association between Confucianism and minority shareholder expropriation, suggesting that Confucianism’s negative impact on minority shareholder expropriation is less pronounced for state-owned enterprises than for non-state-owned enterprises. The above results are robust to a variety of sensitivity tests and my findings are valid after controlling for the potential endogeneity between Confucianism and minority shareholder expropriation.


Confucianism Minority shareholder expropriation The nature of the ultimate owner Other receivables State-owned enterprises Geographic-proximity-based Confucianism variable 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Accounting Department, School of ManagementXiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China

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