The price of ethics and stakeholder governance: The performance of socially responsible mutual funds
Do investors pay a price for investing in socially responsible investments (SRI) funds, or do they obtain superior returns? This paper investigates these under- and overperformance hypotheses for all SRI funds across the world. Consistent with investors paying a price for ethics, SRI funds in the US, the UK, and in many continental European and Asia-Pacific countries underperform their domestic benchmarks by - 2.2% to - 6.5%. However, with the exception of some countries such as France, Japan and Sweden, the risk-adjusted returns of SRI funds are not statistically different from the performance of conventional funds. We also find that the underperformance of SRI funds is not driven by loadings on an ethics style factor. There is mixed evidence of a smart money effect: SRI investors are unable to identify the funds that will outperform in the future, whereas they show some fund-selection ability in identifying funds that will perform poorly. Finally, corporate governance and social screens yield lower risk-adjusted returns.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000.
"Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, "undated". "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 336, CESifo Group Munich.
- Geoffrey Heal, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility: An Economic and Financial Framework," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 30(3), pages 387-409, July.
- George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
- Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Ming Huang & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2004. "Does Fund Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? The Role of Liquidity and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1276-1302, December.
- David Romer, 1984. "The Theory of Social Custom: A Modification and Some Extensions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 717-727.
- Tirole, Jean, 2001.
Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
- Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
- Ferson, Wayne E & Schadt, Rudi W, 1996. " Measuring Fund Strategy and Performance in Changing Economic Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 425-461, June.
- Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
- Heinkel, Robert & Kraus, Alan & Zechner, Josef, 2001. "The Effect of Green Investment on Corporate Behavior," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(04), pages 431-449, December.
- Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
- Zakri Y. Bello, 2005. "Socially Responsible Investing And Portfolio Diversification," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 28(1), pages 41-57.
- Renneboog, L.D.R. & Ter Horst, J.R. & Zhang, C., 2006.
"Is Ethical Money Financially Smart?,"
2006-005, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
- Merton, Robert C., 1987.
"A simple model of capital market equilibrium with incomplete information,"
1869-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
- Bauer, Rob & Otten, Roger & Rad, Alireza Tourani, 2006. "Ethical investing in Australia: Is there a financial penalty?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 33-48, January.
- Franklin Allen & Elena Carletti & Robert Marquez, 2009.
"Stakeholder Capitalism, Corporate Governance and Firm Value,"
Economics Working Papers
ECO2009/10, European University Institute.
- Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena & Marquez, Robert, 2007. "Stakeholder capitalism, corporate governance and firm value," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Derwall, J. & Günster, N.K. & Bauer, R. & Koedijk, C.G., 2004. "The Eco-Efficiency Premium Puzzle," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-043-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
- Michael C. Jensen, 1968. "The Performance Of Mutual Funds In The Period 1945–1964," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(2), pages 389-416, 05.
- Russ Wermers, 2000. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Empirical Decomposition into Stock-Picking Talent, Style, Transactions Costs, and Expenses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1655-1703, 08.
- Fama, Eugene F, 1972. "Components of Investment Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(3), pages 551-567, June.
- 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.
- Brown, Stephen J, et al, 1992. "Survivorship Bias in Performance Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 553-580.
- Travis Sapp & Ashish Tiwari, 2004. "Does Stock Return Momentum Explain the "Smart Money" Effect?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2605-2622, December.
- Lu Zheng, 1999. "Is Money Smart? A Study of Mutual Fund Investors' Fund Selection Ability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 901-933, 06.
- Alan Gregory & John Matatko & Robert Luther, 1997. "Ethical Unit Trust Financial Performance: Small Company Effects and Fund Size Effects," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 705-725.
- Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
- K. J. Martijn Cremers & Vinay B. Nair, 2005. "Governance Mechanisms and Equity Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2859-2894, December.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:14:y:2008:i:3:p:302-322. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.