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Global Standards and Ethical Stock Indexes: the case of the Dow Jones Sustainability Stoxx Index

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  • Costanza Consolandi

    ()

  • Ameeta Jaiswal-Dale

    ()

  • Elisa Poggiani

    ()

  • Alessandro Vercelli

    ()

Abstract

The increased scrutiny of investors regarding the non-financial aspects of corporate performance have placed portfolio managers in the position of having to weigh the benefits of “holding the market” against the cost of having positions in companies that are subsequently found to have questionable business practices. The availability of stock indexes based on sustainability screening makes increasingly viable for institutional investors the transition to a portfolio based on a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) benchmark at relatively low cost. The increasing share of socially responsible investments may play a role in providing incentives towards a continuous upgrading of sustainability standards to the extent that their performance is not systematically inferior to that of the other funds. This paper examines whether these incentives have been so far detectable with particular reference to the Dow Jones Sustainability Stoxx Index (DJSSI) that focuses on the European corporations with the highest CSR scores among those included in the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index. The aim of the paper is twofold. First, we analyse the performance of the DJSSI over the period 2001-2006 compared to that of the Surrogate Complementary Index (SCI), a new benchmark that includes only the components of the DJ Stoxx 600 that do not belong to the ethical index in order to evaluate more correctly the size of possible divergent performances.Second, we perform an event study on the same data set to analyse whether the stock market evaluation reacts to the inclusion (deletion) in the DJSSI. In both cases the results suggest that the evaluation of the CSR performance of a firm is a significant criterion for asset allocation activities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena in its series Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena with number 0208.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:usi:depfid:0208

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Keywords: Dow Jones Sustainability Stock Index; Ethical stock indexes; SRI (Socially Responsible Investing); SRI funds.;

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References

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  1. Michael C. Jensen, 2001. "Value Maximization, Stakeholder Theory, And The Corporate Objective Function," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(3), pages 8-21.
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
  4. 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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Cited by:
  1. Julia Lackmann & Jürgen Ernstberger & Michael Stich, 2012. "Market Reactions to Increased Reliability of Sustainability Information," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 111-128, May.
  2. Isabel Lourenço & Manuel Branco & José Curto & Teresa Eugénio, 2012. "How Does the Market Value Corporate Sustainability Performance?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 108(4), pages 417-428, July.
  3. Krista Bondy & Jeremy Moon & Dirk Matten, 2012. "An Institution of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Multi-National Corporations (MNCs): Form and Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 281-299, December.
  4. Adrian Wai Kong Cheung, 2011. "Do Stock Investors Value Corporate Sustainability? Evidence from an Event Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 145-165, March.
  5. Felipe Arias Fogliano de Souza Cunha & Carlos Samanez, 2013. "Performance Analysis of Sustainable Investments in the Brazilian Stock Market: A Study About the Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE)," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 19-36, September.
  6. Costanza Consolandi & Alessandro Innocenti & Alessandro Vercelli, 2009. "CSR, rationality and the ethical preferences of investors in a laboratory experiment," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0609, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  7. Isabel Lourenço & Jeffrey Callen & Manuel Branco & José Curto, 2014. "The Value Relevance of Reputation for Sustainability Leadership," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(1), pages 17-28, January.
  8. Miwa Nakai & Keiko Yamaguchi & Kenji Takeuchi, 2012. "Sustainability membership and stock price: an empirical study using the Morningstar-SRI Index," Discussion Papers 1204, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
  9. Janusz Brzeszczynski & Graham McIntosh, 2012. "Performance of Portfolios Composed of British SRI Stocks," CFI Discussion Papers 1204, Centre for Finance and Investment, Heriot Watt University.
  10. Pieter Jong & Antony Paulraj & Constantin Blome, 2014. "The Financial Impact of ISO 14001 Certification: Top-Line, Bottom-Line, or Both?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(1), pages 131-149, January.
  11. Janusz Brzeszczyński & Graham McIntosh, 2014. "Performance of Portfolios Composed of British SRI Stocks," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(3), pages 335-362, March.
  12. Hooi Hooi Lean & Duc Khuong Nguyen, 2014. "Policy uncertainty and performance characteristics of sustainable investments across regions around the global financial crisis," Working Papers 2014-295, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  13. Stefan Schaltegger & Dorli Harms & Sarah Elena Windolph & Jacob Hörisch, 2014. "Involving Corporate Functions: Who Contributes to Sustainable Development?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(5), pages 3064-3085, May.
  14. W. K. Adrian Cheung & Eduardo Roca, 2010. "Do Pacific Basin Investors Value Corporate Sustainability?," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201016, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.

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