Corporate social responsibility and corporate performance: evidence from a panel of US listed companies
We investigate whether inclusion and permanence in the domini social index (DSI) affects corporate performance on a sample of around 1000 firms in a 13-year interval by controlling for size, industry, business cycle and time invariant firm idiosyncratic characteristics. Our results find partial support to the hypothesis that corporate social responsibility is a move from the shareholders wealth to a multi-stakeholders welfare target. On the one side, permanence into the domini index (DI) is shown to increase (reduce) significantly total sales per employee (returns on equity but not when large and R&D investing firms are excluded from the sample). On the other side, lower returns on equity for Domini firms seem nonetheless to be accompanied by relatively lower conditional volatility and lower reaction to extreme shocks with respect to the control sample. An explanation for these findings, suggested by the inspection of Domini criteria, is that social responsibility implies, on the one side, decisions leading to higher cost of labour and of intermediate output, but may, on the other side, enhance involvement, motivation and identification of the workforce with company goals with positive effects on productivity.
Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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