CAN RETURNEE MANAGERS PROMOTE CSR PERFORMANCE? EVIDENCE FROM CHINA

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With growing economic globalization, returnee managers who have obtained
education or work experience overseas play a much more crucial role in corporations,
especially in emerging economies. Using hand-collected managerial background data
from a sample of firms listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges from
2010 to 2014, this paper investigates the impact of returnee managers on corporate
social responsibility (CSR) performance. We find that returnee managers can promote
CSR performance. Further analyses show that the impact of returnee managers on CSR
is more pronounced when managers have a foreign study background compared to
managers with foreign work experience. The impact only holds when managers
obtained their experience in developed economies. When enterprises face greater
information asymmetry, returnee managers are more willing to use CSR as a tool to
convey a positive image to stakeholders. CSR can help managers reduce information
asymmetry and improve firm value. The results are robust through a series of robustness
checks including a propensity score matching (PSM) procedure and a Heckman two-state
sample selection model. This paper contributes to growing studies on the economic
consequences of returnee managers and advances our understanding of the determinants
of CSR at the individual level. The results also have implications for government and
enterprises attracting talents with overseas experience.

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