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Do environmental regulations hamper small enterprises' market entry? Evidence from China

Guangqin Li, Shiyu Lu, Shuai Shao, Lili Yang and Ke Zhang

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2021, vol. 30, issue 1, 252-266

Abstract: Due to the serious increase of environmental pollution in China, environmental regulations have become significantly stringent. Such regulations are playing an increasingly important role in the development of small enterprises (SEs) in China, especially in SEs' market entry. However, existing studies pay little attention to this issue. This paper investigates for the first time the effect of environmental regulations on SEs' market entry and the mechanism of environmental regulation effects in China. We consider two sets of panel data for the periods 2003–2010 and 2012–2015 in China. We also use the fixed effect model and the instrumental variable method to explore the role of environmental regulations in SEs' market entry. The results show that, overall, environmental regulations play a significantly positive and robust role in SEs' market entry. However, the mechanisms associated with the effect of environmental regulations on different innovative types of SEs differ. Environmental regulations promote the market entry of SEs with product innovation, but this impact is not significant for SEs with research and development (R&D) activities and R&D institutions. Our findings indicate that China's SEs prefer product innovation, which is a lower level innovative type, over R&D innovation, as a means to avoid the negative impact of stringent environmental regulations.

Date: 2021
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