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Too cynical: why the stock market in China dimissed initial anticorruption signals

Wang, Xiaonan and Wang, Yan (2022) Too cynical: why the stock market in China dimissed initial anticorruption signals. Journal of Chinese Political Science. ISSN 1080-6954

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11366-021-09778-9

Abstract

Political leaders in China regularly launch anti-corruption campaigns to win public support. But how are anti-corruption signals perceived? We use event study to examine the case of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign – an unprecedented effort in China to fight corruption. Contrary to expectations, we find that for the firms with connected officials later investigated, the initial anti-corruption signals – speeches from the top leadership and earlier crackdowns on other senior officials – did not decrease their stock prices. We argue that the perceived high costs of following through and repeated campaigns in the past paradoxically nurtured cynicism. We exploit the case of Zhou Yongkang and Ling Jihua – the two officials who were alleged to be involved in the power struggle and whose downfall had circulated widely since 2012. We find that when the targets of earlier crackdowns were connected to Zhou or Ling, the stock prices of the firms went down only if their connected and later investigated officials were in the same faction; the stock prices of the other firms, however, went up. We interpret the results as investors’ misperceptions of the campaign in the beginning. Our findings suggest that even real efforts in campaign-style enforcement can be dismissed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/11366
Additional Information: © 2022 Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies.
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 14:45
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 10:42
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/113696

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