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Corporate social responsibility and corporate performance: evidence from a panel of US listed companies

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  • Leonardo Becchetti
  • Stefania Di Giacomo
  • Damiano Pinnacchio

Abstract

We investigate whether inclusion and permanence in the domini social index (DSI) affects corporate performance on a sample of around 1000 firms in a 13-year interval by controlling for size, industry, business cycle and time invariant firm idiosyncratic characteristics. Our results find partial support to the hypothesis that corporate social responsibility is a move from the shareholders wealth to a multi-stakeholders welfare target. On the one side, permanence into the domini index (DI) is shown to increase (reduce) significantly total sales per employee (returns on equity but not when large and R&D investing firms are excluded from the sample). On the other side, lower returns on equity for Domini firms seem nonetheless to be accompanied by relatively lower conditional volatility and lower reaction to extreme shocks with respect to the control sample. An explanation for these findings, suggested by the inspection of Domini criteria, is that social responsibility implies, on the one side, decisions leading to higher cost of labour and of intermediate output, but may, on the other side, enhance involvement, motivation and identification of the workforce with company goals with positive effects on productivity.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840500428112
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 541-567

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:40:y:2008:i:5:p:541-567

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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Ziegler, 2009. "Is it Beneficial to be Included in a Sustainability Stock Index? A Panel Data Study for European Firms," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/121, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  2. Leonardo Becchetti & Rocco Ciciretti & Alessandro Giovannelli, 2012. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Earnings Forecasting Unbiasedness," CEIS Research Paper 233, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 08 Feb 2013.
  3. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Schmidt, Peter & Wagner, Marcus & Ziegler, Andreas, 2013. "Does the stock market value the inclusion in a sustainability stock index? An event study analysis for German firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 497-509.
  4. Henriques, Irene & Sadorsky, Perry, 2010. "Can environmental sustainability be used to manage energy price risk?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1131-1138, September.

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