Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 209–221 | Cite as

Will Corporate Political Connection Influence the Environmental Information Disclosure Level? Based on the Panel Data of A-Shares from Listed Companies in Shanghai Stock Market

  • Zhihua ChengEmail author
  • Feng Wang
  • Christine Keung
  • Yongxiu Bai


The purpose of the Chinese Environmental Information Disclosure System is to protect the environment through public participation and public opinion. This paper uses data from listed Chinese companies in heavily polluted industries from 2008 to 2013 to examine the influence that corporate political connection has on corporate environmental information disclosure (CEID) level. The results show that firstly, while environmental disclosure level has improved over time, negative information that reflects the real status of environmental management has also been concealed. Secondly, although corporate political connection can influence companies to more actively disclose environmental information, it can also mask political rent-seeking in the guise of protecting the environment. This is especially prevalent in state-owned enterprises where political connection has a significant positive impact on CEID in the eastern and western parts of China. If political connections influence CEID, it will be difficult to improve the quality of environmental disclosure and provide useful information for decision makers. There is an urgent need to standardize and strictly regulate listed companies’ system for environmental information disclosure.


Political connection Corporate environmental information disclosure Government ownership Regional difference 



We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for very helpful suggestions that substantially improved this paper. This study is supported by the Humanities and Social Science Funds of Ministry of Education of China (11XJC630010) and the National Social Science Fund of China (15XGL017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhihua Cheng
    • 1
    Email author
  • Feng Wang
    • 1
  • Christine Keung
    • 2
  • Yongxiu Bai
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Wellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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