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The demographic profile of socially responsible investors

  • Joan C. Junkus
  • Thomas C. Berry
Registered author(s):

    Purpose – Given the size and growing importance of socially responsible (SR)-related funds and investments, the purpose of this paper is to see if those who invest in socially responsible investments (SRIs) conform to a particular profile and if that profile is significantly different than that of a typical investor. Design/methodology/approach – This study surveyed a large group of US-based, well-informed, individual investors, members of the American Association of Individual Investors. The survey respondents included both those who invest according to SRI principles, and those with no interest in SRI, to determine if demographic differences exist. Findings – The paper finds that the typical SR investor is female and more likely to be single, younger, less wealthy, and better educated than their non-SR counterparts. Research limitations/implications – Further research is needed to determine if the higher risk aversion of women and their greater concern for the environment found in previous studies is responsible for the results. Practical implications – Given the statistically significant differences, additional efforts must be made to convince wealthier and male investors of the merits of socially responsible investing. Originality/value – This is the first paper to use individuals who have committed resources to SR to compare their demographic characteristics to investors who have not invested in SRI products as distinct groups. Second, this is the first study to compare these groups using US investor data and to measure the statistical significance of the demographic factors.

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    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0307-4358&volume=36&issue=6&articleid=1863330&show=abstract
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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Managerial Finance.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 474-481

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:36:y:2010:i:6:p:474-481
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    1. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, And Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292, February.
    2. Diamantopoulos, Adamantios & Schlegelmilch, Bodo B. & Sinkovics, Rudolf R. & Bohlen, Greg M., 2003. "Can socio-demographics still play a role in profiling green consumers? A review of the evidence and an empirical investigation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 465-480, June.
    3. Beal, Diana & Goyen, Michelle, 1998. "'Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is' A Profile of Ethical Investors," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 129-143.
    4. Palsson, Anne-Marie, 1996. "Does the degree of relative risk aversion vary with household characteristics?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 771-787, December.
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