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ESG Ratings and Stock Performance during the COVID-19 Crisis

Author

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  • Nils Engelhardt

    (Faculty of Business and Economics, TU Dortmund University, Otto-Hahn-Str. 6, 44227 Dortmund, Germany)

  • Jens Ekkenga

    (Faculty of Law, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Licher Str. 76, 35394 Giessen, Germany)

  • Peter Posch

    (Faculty of Business and Economics, TU Dortmund University, Otto-Hahn-Str. 6, 44227 Dortmund, Germany)

Abstract

We investigate the association between Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings and stock performance during the COVID-19 crisis. Although there is mixed evidence in the literature whether ESG is valuable in times of crisis, we find high ESG-rated European firms to be associated with higher abnormal returns and lower stock volatility. After decomposing ESG into its separate components, we find the social score to be the predominant driver of our results. Further, we argue that ESG is value-enhancing in low-trust countries, and in countries with poorer security regulations and where lower disclosure standards prevail.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Engelhardt & Jens Ekkenga & Peter Posch, 2021. "ESG Ratings and Stock Performance during the COVID-19 Crisis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(13), pages 1-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:13:p:7133-:d:581983
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    Cited by:

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    2. Zhi Chen, 2023. "Investigate The ESG Score Methodology," Papers 2312.00202, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2024.
    3. Hemendra Gupta & Rashmi Chaudhary, 2023. "An Analysis of Volatility and Risk-Adjusted Returns of ESG Indices in Developed and Emerging Economies," Risks, MDPI, vol. 11(10), pages 1-18, October.
    4. Marius Banke & Stephanie Lenger & Christiane Pott, 2022. "ESG Ratings in the Corporate Reporting of DAX40 Companies in Germany: Effects on Market Participants," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(15), pages 1-21, August.
    5. Andrea Jacob & Martin Nerlinger, 2021. "Investors’ Delight? Climate Risk in Stock Valuation during COVID-19 and Beyond," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-17, November.
    6. Fariha Jahan & Jungmu Kim, 2023. "Does the Shield Effect of CSR Work in Crises? Evidence in Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(11), pages 1-18, June.
    7. Alberto Barroso del Toro & Laura Vivas Crisol & Xavier Tort-Martorell, 2022. "Comparing the Impacts of Sustainability Narratives on American and European Energy Shareholders: A Multi-Event Study Analysing Reactions to News before and during COVID-19," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(23), pages 1-18, November.
    8. Tatarnikova, Olga & Duchêne, Sébastien & Sentis, Patrick & Willinger, Marc, 2023. "Portfolio instability and socially responsible investment: Experiments with financial professionals and students," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    9. Gregory, Richard Paul, 2022. "ESG scores and the response of the S&P 1500 to monetary and fiscal policy during the Covid-19 pandemic," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 446-456.
    10. Dingzu Zhang & Luqi Liu, 2022. "Does ESG Performance Enhance Financial Flexibility? Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(18), pages 1-22, September.
    11. Hamzeh Al Amosh & Saleh F. A. Khatib & Husam Ananzeh, 2024. "Terrorist attacks and environmental social and governance performance: Evidence from cross‐country panel data," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 31(1), pages 210-223, January.
    12. Qian, Kun & Shi, Bingjie & Song, Yunling & Wu, Hao, 2023. "ESG performance and loan contracting in an emerging market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    13. Shahzad, Umer & Ghaemi Asl, Mahdi & Khalfaoui, Rabeh & Tedeschi, Marco, 2024. "Extreme contributions of conventional investments vis-à-vis Islamic ones to renewables," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 189(PB).
    14. Meyer, Julia, 2024. "Willingness to take risks for sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    15. Simona Malovana & Dominika Ehrenbergerova & Zuzana Gric, 2023. "What Do Economists Think About the Green Transition? Exploring the Impact of Environmental Awareness," Working Papers 2023/6, Czech National Bank.
    16. Fabio Pisani & Giorgia Russo, 2021. "Sustainable Finance and COVID-19: The Reaction of ESG Funds to the 2020 Crisis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(23), pages 1-18, November.
    17. Rim El Khoury & Nohade Nasrallah & Khaled Hussainey, 2022. "Exploring the performance of responsible companies in G20 during the COVID-19 outbreak," Post-Print hal-03761427, HAL.
    18. Agliardi, Elettra & Alexopoulos, Thomas & Karvelas, Kleanthis, 2023. "The environmental pillar of ESG and financial performance: A portfolio analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    19. Jiongye Jin & Jianing Zhang, 2023. "The Stock Performance of Green Bond Issuers During COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of China," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 30(1), pages 211-230, March.
    20. Song, Yunling & Wu, Hao & Ma, Yan, 2023. "Does ESG performance affect audit pricing? Evidence from China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    21. Christian Espinosa-Méndez & Carlos Maquieira & José Tomás Arias, 2024. "ESG performance on the value of family firms: international evidence during Covid-19," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-9, December.
    22. Maria Rodionova & Angi Skhvediani & Tatiana Kudryavtseva, 2022. "ESG as a Booster for Logistics Stock Returns—Evidence from the US Stock Market," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(19), pages 1-26, September.

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