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Social Capital, Trust, and Firm Performance: The Value of Corporate Social Responsibility during the Financial Crisis

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  • KARL V. LINS
  • HENRI SERVAES
  • ANE TAMAYO

Abstract

During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, firms with high social capital, measured as corporate social responsibility (CSR) intensity, had stock returns that were four to seven percentage points higher than firms with low social capital. High-CSR firms also experienced higher profitability, growth, and sales per employee relative to low-CSR firms, and they raised more debt. This evidence suggests that the trust between the firm and both its stakeholders and investors, built through investments in social capital, pays off when the overall level of trust in corporations and markets suffers a negative shock.
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Suggested Citation

  • Karl V. Lins & Henri Servaes & Ane Tamayo, 2017. "Social Capital, Trust, and Firm Performance: The Value of Corporate Social Responsibility during the Financial Crisis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 72(4), pages 1785-1824, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:72:y:2017:i:4:p:1785-1824
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jofi.2017.72.issue-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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