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Socially responsible investment fund performance: the impact of screening intensity

Author

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  • Darren D. Lee
  • Jacquelyn E. Humphrey
  • Karen L. Benson
  • Jason Y. K. Ahn

Abstract

Perhaps the most common criticism of socially responsible investment funds is that imposing non-financial screens restricts investment opportunities, reduces diversification efficiencies and thereby adversely impacts performance. In this study we investigate this proposition and test whether the "number" of screens employed has a linear or curvilinear relation with return. Moreover, we analyse the link between screening intensity and risk. Screening intensity has no effect on unadjusted (raw) returns or idiosyncratic risk. However, we find a significant reduction in "&agr;" of 70 basis points per screen using the Carhart performance model. Increased screening results in lower systematic risk - in line with managers choosing lower "&bgr;" stocks to minimize overall risk. Copyright (c) The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 AFAANZ.

Suggested Citation

  • Darren D. Lee & Jacquelyn E. Humphrey & Karen L. Benson & Jason Y. K. Ahn, 2010. "Socially responsible investment fund performance: the impact of screening intensity," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 50(2), pages 351-370.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:acctfi:v:50:y:2010:i:2:p:351-370
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. In, Francis & Kim, Martin & Park, Raphael Jonghyeon & Kim, Sangbae & Kim, Tong Suk, 2014. "Competition of socially responsible and conventional mutual funds and its impact on fund performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 160-176.
    2. Riikka Sievänen & Hannu Rita & Bert Scholtens, 2013. "The Drivers of Responsible Investment: The Case of European Pension Funds," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 137-151, September.
    3. repec:eee:spacre:v:19:y:2016:i:1:p:55-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leite, Paulo & Cortez, Maria Céu, 2014. "Style and performance of international socially responsible funds in Europe," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 248-267.
    5. Luis Ferruz & Fernando Muñoz & María Vargas, 2012. "Managerial Abilities: Evidence from Religious Mutual Fund Managers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(4), pages 503-517, February.
    6. Jacquelyn Humphrey & Darren Lee, 2011. "Australian Socially Responsible Funds: Performance, Risk and Screening Intensity," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(4), pages 519-535, September.
    7. Ashraf, Dawood & Khawaja, Mohsin, 2016. "Does the Shariah screening process matter? Evidence from Shariah compliant portfolios," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(S), pages 77-92.
    8. repec:bla:acctfi:v:57:y:2017:i:1:p:3-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ortas, Eduardo & Moneva, José M. & Salvador, Manuel, 2012. "Does socially responsible investment equity indexes in emerging markets pay off? Evidence from Brazil," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 581-597.
    10. Gariet WS Chow & Robert B Durand & SzeKee Koh, 2014. "Are ethical investments good?," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 39(4), pages 645-665, November.
    11. Yunieta Nainggolan & Janice How & Peter Verhoeven, 2016. "Ethical Screening and Financial Performance: The Case of Islamic Equity Funds," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 83-99, August.
    12. Jacquelyn Humphrey & David Tan, 2014. "Does it Really Hurt to be Responsible?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 375-386, July.
    13. repec:eee:ecmode:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:233-243 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ashraf, Dawood & Felixson, Karl & Khawaja, Mohsin & Hussain, Syed Mujahid, 2017. "Do constraints on financial and operating leverage affect the performance of Islamic equity portfolios?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 171-182.
    15. Maike van Dijk-de Groot & Andre H.J. Nijhof, 2015. "Socially Responsible Investment Funds: a review of research priorities and strategic options," Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 178-204, July.
    16. Durand, Robert B. & Koh, SzeKee & Limkriangkrai, Manapon, 2013. "Saints versus Sinners. Does morality matter?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 166-183.
    17. Cabello, J.M. & Ruiz, F. & Pérez-Gladish, B. & Méndez-Rodríguez, P., 2014. "Synthetic indicators of mutual funds’ environmental responsibility: An application of the Reference Point Method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 236(1), pages 313-325.
    18. Elizabeth Ooi & Paul Lajbcygier, 2013. "Virtue Remains After Removing Sin: Finding Skill Amongst Socially Responsible Investment Managers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 199-224, March.
    19. el Alaoui, AbdelKader Ouatik & Bacha, Obiyathulla Ismath & Masih, Mansur & Asutay, Mehmet, 2016. "Shari’ah screening, market risk and contagion: A multi-country analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(S), pages 93-112.
    20. Kuti Monika & Szasz Erzsebet, 2014. "Challenges In Performance Metrics In Socially Responsible Investments," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 919-927, July.
    21. repec:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:14:p:1005-1018 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Maria Vargas & Ruth Vicente & Fernando Muñoz, 2014. "Searching for the most profitable and sustainable investment strategy: evidence from sovereign bond funds," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 1034-1053, November.
    23. Fernando Muñoz & Maria Vargas & Isabel Marco, 2014. "Environmental Mutual Funds: Financial Performance and Managerial Abilities," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(4), pages 551-569, November.
    24. Jedrzej Bialkowski & Laura T. Starks, 2016. "SRI Funds: Investor Demand, Exogenous Shocks and ESG Profiles," Working Papers in Economics 16/11, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.

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