Towards a theory of responsible investing : on the economic foundations of corporate social responsibility
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Studies that link corporate social and financial performance usually find a positive association between the two. However, the literature does not establish a significant impact of socially responsible investing on stock market returns. We develop a coherent economic framework of responsible investing to address this paradox. The framework offers theoretical underpinnings for all research on responsible investment as it provides the theoretical underpinnings for the actual behavior of market participants. We associate corporate social performance with key financial accounting ratios like the market-to-book ratio (market value of the firm in relation to accounting value), return on assets, and stock market return. We conclude that there is a strong theoretical foundation for a positive relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance, though the relation is conditional on which financial performance measure is considered. We illustrate that the empirical literature about responsible investing is well in line with our model's propositions.
Dam , L & Scholtens , B 2015 , ' Towards a theory of responsible investing : on the economic foundations of corporate social responsibility ' Resource and Energy Economics , vol 41 , pp. 103-121 . DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2015.04.008
Resource and Energy Economics
Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.reseneeco.2015.04.008
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