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Institutional shareholders and corporate social responsibility

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  • Chen, Tao
  • Dong, Hui
  • Lin, Chen

Abstract

This study uses two distinct quasi-natural experiments to examine the effect of institutional shareholders on corporate social responsibility (CSR). We first find that an exogenous increase in institutional holding caused by Russell Index reconstitutions improves portfolio firms’ CSR performance. We then find that firms have lower CSR ratings when shareholders are distracted due to exogenous shocks. Moreover, the effect of institutional ownership is stronger in CSR categories that are financially material. Furthermore, we show that institutional shareholders influence CSR through CSR-related proposals. Overall, our results suggest that institutional shareholders can generate real social impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Tao & Dong, Hui & Lin, Chen, 2020. "Institutional shareholders and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 483-504.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:135:y:2020:i:2:p:483-504
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2019.06.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Yong & Liu, Zhi-yang & Ren, Wen-wen & Lin Forrest, Jeffrey Yi, 2020. "A coordination mechanism through relational contract in a two-echelon supply chain," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).
    2. Wenzhi Ding & Ross Levine & Chen Lin & Wensi Xie, 2020. "Competition Laws, Norms and Corporate Social Responsibility," NBER Working Papers 27493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional ownership; Indexing; Shareholder attention; Corporate social responsibility; Random discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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