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Sovereign Bonds and Socially Responsible Investment

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  • Bastien Drut

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Abstract

While the literature on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is mainly focused on the stock market, little attention has been paid to SRI in sovereign bonds. This paper investigates the effect of taking into account socially responsible indicators for countries, the Vigeo Sustainability Ratings (VSR), on the efficient frontier formed with the sovereign bonds of twenty developed countries. It shows that it is possible to increase the portfolios’ VSR rating without significantly harming the risk/return relationship. The analysis then focuses on specific ratings relating to a) the environment, b) social concerns, and c) public governance. The results suggest that socially responsible portfolios of sovereign bonds can be built without a significant diversification cost.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-010-0638-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 131-145

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:92:y:2010:i:1:p:131-145

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

Related research

Keywords: extra-financial ratings; mean–variance efficiency; portfolio selection; responsible investing; socially responsible investment; sovereign bonds; spanning tests;

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References

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  1. Mats Hansson & Eva Liljeblom & Anders Loflund, 2009. "International bond diversification strategies: the impact of currency, country, and credit risk," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5-6), pages 555-583.
  2. Sheppard, Kevin & Cappiello, Lorenzo & Engle, Robert F., 2003. "Asymmetric dynamics in the correlations of global equity and bond returns," Working Paper Series 0204, European Central Bank.
  3. Michael Connolly, 2007. "Measuring the Effect of Corruption on Sovereign Bond Ratings," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 309-323.
  4. Roon, F.A. de & Nijman, T.E. & Werker, B.J.M., 1998. "Testing for mean-variance spanning with short sales constraints and transaction costs: The case of emerging markets," Discussion Paper 1998-07, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Basak, Gopal & Jagannathan, Ravi & Sun, Guoqiang, 2002. "A direct test for the mean variance efficiency of a portfolio," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1195-1215, July.
  6. Black, Fischer, 1972. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Restricted Borrowing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 444-55, July.
  7. Renneboog, Luc & Ter Horst, Jenke & Zhang, Chendi, 2008. "The price of ethics and stakeholder governance: The performance of socially responsible mutual funds," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 302-322, June.
  8. Michael Connolly, 2007. "Measuring the Effect of Corruption on Sovereign Bond Ratings," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 309-323.
  9. Paldam, Martin, 2002. "The cross-country pattern of corruption: economics, culture and the seesaw dynamics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-240, June.
  10. Nijman, T.E. & Roon, F.A. de, 2001. "Testing for mean-variance spanning: A survey," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-87531, Tilburg University.
  11. Paul EHLING & Sofia B. RAMOS, 2004. "Geographic Versus Industry Diversification: Contraints Matter," FAME Research Paper Series rp113, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  12. Bauer, Rob & Koedijk, Kees & Otten, Roger, 2005. "International evidence on ethical mutual fund performance and investment style," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1751-1767, July.
  13. Best, Michael J. & Grauer, Robert R., 1990. "The efficient set mathematics when mean-variance problems are subject to general linear constraints," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 105-120, May.
  14. Renneboog, Luc & Ter Horst, Jenke & Zhang, Chendi, 2008. "Socially responsible investments: Institutional aspects, performance, and investor behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1723-1742, September.
  15. Alexander Kempf & Peer Osthoff, 2007. "The Effect of Socially Responsible Investing on Portfolio Performance," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 13(5), pages 908-922.
  16. Jeroen Derwall & Kees Koedijk, 2009. "Socially Responsible Fixed-Income Funds," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1-2), pages 210-229.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bert Scholtens, 2010. "The Environmental Performance of Dutch Government Bond Funds," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 117-130, April.
  2. Szafarz, Ariane & Oosterlinck, Kim & Mignon, Valérie & Drut, Bastien & Brière, Marie, 2011. "Is the Market Portfolio Efficient? A New Test to Revisit the Roll (1977) versus Levy and Roll (2010) Controversy," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/9297, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Bastien Drut, 2009. "Nice but cautious guys: The cost of responsible investing in the bond markets," Working Papers CEB 09-034.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Basso, Antonella & Funari, Stefania, 2014. "Constant and variable returns to scale DEA models for socially responsible investment funds," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 235(3), pages 775-783.
  5. Marie Briere & Bastien Drut & Valérie Mignon & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2012. "Is the Market Portfolio Efficient? A New Test of Mean-Variance Efficiency when All Assets Are Risky," Working Papers CEB 12-003, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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