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Is ethical money financially smart? Nonfinancial attributes and money flows of socially responsible investment funds

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  • Renneboog, Luc
  • Ter Horst, Jenke
  • Zhang, Chendi
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    Abstract

    We study the money flows into and out of socially responsible investment (SRI) funds around the world. In their investment decisions, investors in SRI funds may be more concerned with ethical or social issues than with fund performance. Therefore, SRI money flows are less related to past fund returns. Ethical money is less sensitive to past negative returns than are conventional fund flows, especially when SRI funds primarily use negative or Sin/Ethical screens. Social attributes of SRI funds weaken the relation between money inflows and past positive returns. However, money flows into funds with environmental screens are more sensitive to past positive returns than are conventional fund flows. Stock picking based on in-house SRI research increases the money flows. These results give evidence on the role of nonfinancial attributes, which induce heterogeneity of investor clienteles within SRI funds. We find no evidence of a smart money effect, as the funds that receive more inflows neither outperform nor underperform their benchmarks or conventional funds.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Intermediation.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 562-588

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:20:y:2011:i:4:p:562-588

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875

    Related research

    Keywords: Mutual funds Ethical funds Investor clienteles Investment screens;

    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Leite, Paulo & Cortez, Maria Céu, 2014. "Style and performance of international socially responsible funds in Europe," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 248-267.
    2. Miwa Nakai & Tomonori Honda & Nariaki Nishino & Kenji Takeuchi, 2013. "An Experimental Study on Motivations for Socially Responsible Investment," Discussion Papers 1314, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    3. Dimson, Elroy & Rousseau, Peter L. & Spaenjers, Christophe, 2013. "The Price of Wine," Working Papers 164656, American Association of Wine Economists.
    4. Abdelsalam, Omneya & Duygun, Meryem & Matallín-Sáez, Juan Carlos & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2014. "Do ethics imply persistence? The case of Islamic and socially responsible funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 182-194.
    5. Spaenjers, C., 2011. "Essays in alternative investments," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4944288, Tilburg University.
    6. Durand, Robert B. & Koh, SzeKee & Limkriangkrai, Manapon, 2013. "Saints versus Sinners. Does morality matter?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 166-183.
    7. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Stéphanie Monjon, 2011. "The Performance of Socially Responsible Funds: Does the Screening Process Matter?," Working Papers 2011-12, CEPII research center.
    8. Fabian Bocart & Ken Bastiaensen & Peter Cauwels, 2011. "The 1980s Price Bubble on (Post) Impressionism," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-03-2011, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Nov 2011.

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