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Legal vs. Normative CSR: Differential Impact on Analyst Dispersion, Stock Return Volatility, Cost of Capital, and Firm Value

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  • Maretno Harjoto
  • Hoje Jo

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Abstract

This study examines how the sell-side analysts interpret firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Specifically, we examine the differential impact of overall, legal, and normative CSR on the analysts’ earnings forecast dispersion, stock return volatility, cost of equity capital, and firm value. Employing a sample of U.S. public firms during 1993–2009, we find that overall CSR intensities reduce analyst dispersion of earnings forecast, volatility of stock return and cost of capital (COC), and increase firm value. However, its impact is reduced for firms with better accounting and disclosure quality. When we disaggregate CSR into legal and normative CSR, we find that legal (normative) CSR decreases (increases) analysts’ dispersion, stock return volatility, and COC, while legal (normative) CSR increases (decreases) firm value. The sell-side analysts tend to have less (greater) information asymmetry regarding the net benefits of pursuing CSR that is (not) required by laws. We find, however, that the benefit of having normative CSR realized in 1 year lag such that analyst dispersion, stock return volatility, COC decrease, respectively, and firm value increases. Furthermore, we find that the benefit of normative CSR is offset for firms with higher accounting and disclosure quality. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Maretno Harjoto & Hoje Jo, 2015. "Legal vs. Normative CSR: Differential Impact on Analyst Dispersion, Stock Return Volatility, Cost of Capital, and Firm Value," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 1-20, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:128:y:2015:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2082-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanche Segrestin & Kevin Levillain & Armand Hatchuel, 2016. "Purpose-driven corporations: how corporate law reorders the field of corporate governance," Post-Print hal-01323118, HAL.
    2. Remmer Sassen & Anne-Kathrin Hinze & Inga Hardeck, 2016. "Impact of ESG factors on firm risk in Europe," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(8), pages 867-904, November.
    3. Jo, Hoje & Song, Moon H. & Tsang, Albert, 2015. "Corporate social responsibility and stakeholder governance around the world," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 18-45.
    4. Jo, Hoje & Song, Moon H. & Tsang, Albert, 2016. "Corporate social responsibility and stakeholder governance around the world," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 42-69.
    5. E.O. Marfo & L. Chen & H. Xuhua & H.A. Antwi & E. Yiranbon, 2015. "Corporate Social Responsibility: Driving Dynamics on Firm’s Profitability in Ghana," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 5(3), pages 116-132, July.
    6. repec:kob:tjrevi:dec2017:v:7:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:kap:jbuset:v:148:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-3003-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1821-:d:114571 is not listed on IDEAS

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