This study examines the relationship between carbon policy risk and corporate capital structure in China. Using a sample of A-share listed firms from 1997 to 2018, we find that carbon policy risk reduces firms' financial leverage. The result is robust to the introduction of difference-in-differences tests, instrumental variable regression, and a placebo test used to address endogeneity, as well as to other tests of alternative measures. This negative relationship is more pronounced for non-state-owned enterprises, firms with low institutional investor ownership, firms with poor corporate social responsibility performance, firms belonging to competitive or carbon-sensitive industries, and firms located in provincial cities. Financing constraints, bankruptcy risk, and government power are potential mechanisms underlying this observation. Our findings provide practical suggestions through which firms can address carbon policy risk and provide guidance to governments and regulators for the further implementation of environmental policies. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc.
|Journal||International Review of Financial Analysis|
|Early online date||Jan 2023|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2023|