In this experimental study, we examine whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports affect the investment decisions of non-professional investors in China depending on whether they are assured, the nature of CSR disclosures (positive versus negative disclosures), and the type of assurance provider (professional accountants versus industry experts). The results indicate that CSR assurance increases investor willingness to invest and that the credibility of CSR information partially mediates the relationship between assurance and investment decisions. We also note that the effect of CSR assurance on investment decisions is greater when CSR disclosures are positive than when they are negative. However, the type of assurance provider does not significantly influence the effect of CSR assurance on investor decision making. China's institutional setting features novice investors, government-affiliated industry expert assurers, and government-driven CSR assurance. As a pioneering study on the effects of CSR assurance in China, our work is a valuable supplement to previous studies, which have largely focused on developed economies with considerably different institutional settings.
- CSR information
- Investment decisions