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Do institutional investors drive corporate social responsibility? International evidence

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  • Dyck, Alexander
  • Lins, Karl V.
  • Roth, Lukas
  • Wagner, Hannes F.

Abstract

This paper assesses whether shareholders drive the environmental and social (E&S) performance of firms worldwide. Across 41 countries, institutional ownership is positively associated with E&S performance with additional tests suggesting this relation is causal. Institutions are motivated by both financial and social returns. Investors increase firms’ E&S performance following shocks that reveal financial benefits to E&S improvements. In cross section, investors increase firms’ E&S performance when they come from countries with a strong community belief in the importance of E&S issues, but not otherwise. As such, these institutional investors transplant their social norms regarding E&S issues around the world.

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  • Dyck, Alexander & Lins, Karl V. & Roth, Lukas & Wagner, Hannes F., 2019. "Do institutional investors drive corporate social responsibility? International evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(3), pages 693-714.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:131:y:2019:i:3:p:693-714
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2018.08.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Ramelli & Alexander F. Wagner & Richard J. Zeckhauser & Alexandre Ziegler, 2018. "Investor Rewards to Climate Responsibility: Evidence from the 2016 Climate Policy Shock," NBER Working Papers 25310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Keywords

    Corporate social responsibility; Institutional investors; Social norms; Culture; Environment;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • 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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