Corporate Social Responsibility, Negative Externalities, and Financial Risk: The Case of Climate Change
AbstractCertain types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can generate an ‘insurance-like’ benefit for firms (Godfrey, 2005). Thus far, this risk management hypothesis has been verified for the effects of firm-specific negative events. We argue that this insurance-like benefit of CSR-activities can be equally expected in the context of long-term developments which threaten current business models. We develop our arguments for the incremental, long-term process of internalizing negative externalities. For this, we consider the negative externalities resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and perform a panel analysis of a sample of 1699 firms over a period of 7 years. Our results show that firms can reduce their market-based risk by curbing their GHG-emissions. We furthermore propose an opposing effect on accounting-based risk, but do not find empirical support for this. We conclude that CSR-activities aimed at reducing a firm’s exposure to specific long-term developments can be sound corporate risk management, even if such activities may not yet be profitable.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 12-102/IV/DSF40.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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GHG-emissions; negative externalities; financial risk; corporate social responsibility; long-term developments;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
- M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
- L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-10-13 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-10-13 (Environmental Economics)
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