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Socially Responsible Investing: it Takes More than Words


  • Gunther Capelle-Blancard
  • Stéphanie Monjon


Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) enjoys a large consensus and is frequently presented as a solution to conciliate finance and sustainable development. As proof of its success, most of its proponents point to the growth of the SRI market. The aim of this paper is to put this growth into perspective. To begin with, we propose an appraisal of the SRI market growth. Then, we use online search engines and archive collections to examine the popularity of SRI in the public debate. We also rely on a content analysis of articles that deal with SRI. It enables us to identify the most favored topics and consequently to find out journalists and scholars’ mainstream opinions and attitudes vis-à-vis SRI. Our main results can be summarized as follows. Actually, the SRI market share remains low (slightly more than 10%), not to say very low if we consider only “Core SRI” (very few percent). Its growth is relatively high in Europe, but its market share is stagnating in the US. In this regard, the contrast is striking with the growing number of articles related to SRI on the web and in books, newspapers and academic journals worldwide. The fact that these papers focus on the performance of the SRI funds, to the detriment of conceptual issues regarding ethic or altruism, may explain this dissonance.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Stéphanie Monjon, 2010. "Socially Responsible Investing: it Takes More than Words," Working Papers 2010-15, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-15

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    Cited by:

    1. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Stéphanie Monjon, 2011. "The Performance of Socially Responsible Funds: Does the Screening Process Matter?," Working Papers 2011-12, CEPII research center.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7347 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:eufman:v:20:y:2014:i:3:p:494-520 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    socially and responsible investment; ethical investment; business ethics; corporate social responsibility; content analysis; conceptual analysis; financial performance; greenwashing;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility


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