Purpose: This paper aims to examine the question, “How do firm-level, home-country and host-country environmental performance (EP) affect the outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs)?” Design/methodology/approach: The authors examine the relationships between EP and OFDI propensity and between EP and OFDI intensity using a sample of 359 Chinese firms in industries with a significant environmental footprint between 2009 and 2019 (2,002 firm-year observations) and a Heckman two-stage model. Findings: This study shows that the propensity for OFDI by Chinese MNEs is significantly and positively related to the firm’s prior EP and the country-level EP of China. However, the amount of FDI invested is significantly and positively related to the firm’s prior EP and negatively related to the EP of the host country. Research limitations/implications: The findings suggest that FDI in a country by an MNE is determined by a combination of firm-level EP, home-country EP and host-country EP. This study finds that the decision to undertake FDI (propensity) and the decision about how much to invest (intensity) are determined by different factors. The propensity for FDI is determined by the home-country EP and firm-level EP. However, the intensity of FDI is determined by a combination of the host country EP and firm-level EP. A limitation is that this study only examines MNEs in China, so the findings may not apply to other countries. Originality/value: This paper shows that MNEs’ EP is positively related to the propensity and intensity of their OFDI decisions. However, this paper shows that the home-country and host-country EP may also play an important role in determining the propensity or intensity of OFDI.
- Environmental performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Business,Management and Accounting