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Sovereign Bonds and Socially Responsible Investment

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  • Bastien Drut

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.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/54314/1/RePEc_sol_wpaper_09-014.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 09-014.RS.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:09-014

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Keywords: Socially Responsible Investment; Sovereign Bonds; Portfolio Selection; Rating; Spanning Tests; Mean-variance efficiency; Portfolio Choice.;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Jeroen Derwall & Kees Koedijk, 2009. "Socially Responsible Fixed-Income Funds," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1-2), pages 210-229.
  16. 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.
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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. Hudon, Marek & Périlleux, Anaïs, 2014. "Surplus distribution and characteristics of social enterprises: Evidence from microfinance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 147-157.
  3. Patricia Crifo & Marc-Arthur Diaye & Rim Oueghlissi, 2014. "Measuring the eff ect of government ESG performance on sovereign borrowing cost," Working Papers hal-00951304, HAL.
  4. Antonella Basso & Stefania Funari, 2012. "Constant and variable returns to scale DEA models for socially responsible investment funds," Working Papers 2012_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  5. 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.
  6. Mohamed Chelli & Yves Gendron, 2013. "Sustainability Ratings and the Disciplinary Power of the Ideology of Numbers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 187-203, January.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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