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The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Trend


  • Barbara Lougee
  • James Wallace


Corporate Social Responsibility, or "CSR," has recently become a subject of study by financial economists. While there is no shortage of anecdotal evidence to support all variety of positions, broad-based statistical evidence about the CSR movement is in short supply. This article presents some new empirical evidence that aims to answer three related questions about CSR: First, are corporations increasing their "investment" in what is considered socially responsible behavior? Second, does corporate investment in social responsibility affect a company's financial performance and shareholder value? Third, why do companies invest in CSR: to increase shareholder value, or to uphold a "moral" commitment to non-investor stakeholders and "society"? Copyright (c) 2008 Morgan Stanley.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Lougee & James Wallace, 2008. "The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Trend," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 20(1), pages 96-108.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jacrfn:v:20:y:2008:i:1:p:96-108

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
    2. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Decisions, and the Path of Least Resistance," NBER Working Papers 8655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rüdiger Hahn & Regina Lülfs, 2014. "Legitimizing Negative Aspects in GRI-Oriented Sustainability Reporting: A Qualitative Analysis of Corporate Disclosure Strategies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 401-420, September.
    2. Chung, Huimin & Lin, Jane Raung & Yang, Ying Sui, 2012. "How do entrenched managers handle stakeholders interests?," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 263-277.
    3. Koh, SzeKee & Durand, Robert B. & Limkriangkrai, Manapon, 2015. "The value of Saints and the price of Sin," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 56-72.
    4. Johan Graafland & Corrie Mazereeuw-Van der Duijn Schouten, 2012. "Motives for Corporate Social Responsibility," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 377-396, December.
    5. Pamela Queen, 2015. "Enlightened Shareholder Maximization: Is this Strategy Achievable?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 683-694, March.
    6. repec:rej:journl:v:20:y:2017:i:63:p:187-193 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. John Martin & William Petty & James Wallace, 2009. "Shareholder Value Maximization-Is There a Role for Corporate Social Responsibility?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 21(2), pages 110-118.
    8. Graafland, J.J. & Kaptein, M. & Mazereeuw V/d Duijn Schouten, C., 2010. "Motives of Socially Responsible Business Conduct," Discussion Paper 2010-74, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Borghesi, Richard & Houston, Joel F. & Naranjo, Andy, 2014. "Corporate socially responsible investments: CEO altruism, reputation, and shareholder interests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 164-181.
    10. Leda Nath & Lori Holder-Webb & Jeffrey Cohen, 2013. "Will Women Lead the Way? Differences in Demand for Corporate Social Responsibility Information for Investment Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 85-102, November.
    11. M. Isabel Sánchez-Hernández & Tomás M. Bañegil-Palacios & Ramón Sanguino-Galván, 2017. "Competitive Success in Responsible Regional Ecosystems: An Empirical Approach in Spain Focused on the Firms’ Relationship with Stakeholders," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-18, March.
    12. Jha, Anand & Cox, James, 2015. "Corporate social responsibility and social capital," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 252-270.
    13. Hoje Jo & Haejung Na, 2012. "Does CSR Reduce Firm Risk? Evidence from Controversial Industry Sectors," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(4), pages 441-456, November.

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