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Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility


  • Markus Kitzmueller


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important economic phenomenon with broad implications for .rms, employees, consumers, investors, governments and NGOs alike. This paper collects, structures and combines scattered pieces of economic theory and empirical evidence in novel ways that shed light on various fundamental economic questions related to CSR. The main conjecture presents individual preferences as the ultimate driving force behind any form of CSR. In the presence of social stakeholder preferences, firms may use strategic CSR to maximize profits, while not-for-profit CSR may satisfy shareholders. social ambitions. Only if managers take CSR beyond strategic levels or shareholder preferences, does CSR constitute moral hazard. Incentives and mechanisms underlying for-profit CSR will be outlined in greater detail. Six frameworks for the analysis of strategic CSR are proposed and analyzed. Finally, some empirical issues related to measurement and estimation of CSR are briefly discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Kitzmueller, 2008. "Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/37, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/37

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2171-:d:120307 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fanelli, Domenico, 2010. "The Role of Socially Concerned Consumers in the Coexistence of Ethical and Standard Firms," MPRA Paper 20117, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2010. "Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 1-19, January.
    4. Simone D'Alessandro & Domenico Fanelli, 2015. "The Role of Income Distribution in the Diffusion of Corporate Social Responsibility," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 187-212, May.
    5. Ana S. Branca & Joaquim P. Pina & Margarida Catalão-Lopes, 2012. "Corporate Giving, Competition and the Economic Cycle," Working Papers Department of Economics 2012/15, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.

    More about this item


    Corporate Social Responsibility; Public Goods Provision; Preferences; Strategic CSR;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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