IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Welfare and capital-theoretic foundations of corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability

  • Hediger, Werner
Registered author(s):

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate sustainability (CS) are variously defined in the literature. Providing formal definitions for the two concepts, we show in this article that CS and CSR are distinct but interrelated concepts that can be usefully formalized with capital-theoretic and welfare economic approaches. CSR can particularly constitute a strategy to cope with externalities and serve as insurance against reputational risks that harm profit prospects and corporate value. Moreover, we present a formal approach for integrating the societal perspective of sustainable development with the corporate perspective of CSR and CS. This approach is complementary to a company's internal CSR and CS evaluation.

    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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 518-526

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:4:p:518-526
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "Value Maximization, Stakeholder Theory, and the Corporate Objective Function," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 32-42.
    3. Lutgart Van den Berghe & C�line Louche, 2005. "The Link Between Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility in Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(3), pages 425-442, July.
    4. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
    5. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 240-260, Summer.
    6. Stavins, Robert & Reinhardt, Forest & Vietor, Richard, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility through an Economic Lens," Working Paper Series rwp08-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Málovics, György & Csigéné, Noémi Nagypál & Kraus, Sascha, 2008. "The role of corporate social responsibility in strong sustainability," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 907-918, June.
    8. Hediger, Werner, 2000. "Sustainable development and social welfare," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 481-492, March.
    9. David P. Baron, 2007. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 683-717, 09.
    10. Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Corporate Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 1-35, January.
    11. M. L. Weitzman, 1974. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy," Working papers 125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    12. Giles Atkinson, 2000. "Measuring Corporate Sustainability," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 235-252.
    13. Hopkins, Michael, 2004. "Corporate social responsibility : an issues paper," ILO Working Papers 370952, International Labour Organization.
    14. Weitzman, Martin L., 2000. "The linearised Hamiltonian as comprehensive NDP," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 55-68, February.
    15. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    16. Salzmann, Oliver & Ionescu-somers, Aileen & Steger, Ulrich, 2005. "The Business Case for Corporate Sustainability:: Literature Review and Research Options," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 27-36, February.
    17. Geoffrey Heal, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility: An Economic and Financial Framework," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(3), pages 387-409, July.
    18. Hartwick, John M., 1978. "Investing returns from depleting renewable resource stocks and intergenerational equity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 85-88.
    19. Dorfman, Robert, 1969. "An Economic Interpretation of Optimal Control Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 817-31, December.
    20. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-49.
    21. Donald S. Siegel & Donald F. Vitaliano, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of the Strategic Use of Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 773-792, 09.
    22. Andrea Beltratti, 2005. "The Complementarity between Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(3), pages 373-386, July.
    23. Mark Bagnoli & Susan G. Watts, 2003. "Selling to Socially Responsible Consumers: Competition and The Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 419-445, 09.
    24. Hediger, Werner, 2009. "Sustainable development with stock pollution," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 759-780, December.
    25. Paton, David & Siegel, Donald S., 2005. "The economics of corporate social responsibility: an overview of the special issue," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-312, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:4:p:518-526. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.