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Is socially responsible investing just screening? Evidence from mutual funds

Author

Listed:
  • Markus Hirschberger
  • Ralph E. Steuer
  • Sebastian Utz
  • Maximilian Wimmer

Abstract

This paper presents the results of an empirical study concerning conventional and socially responsible mutual funds.We apply a sophisticated operations research algorithm embedded in inverse portfolio optimization on financial market data, ESG-scores and CRSP fund data. Due to our results we cannot find strong evidence of di erences between conventional and socially responsible mutual funds. In particular, the calculated risk tolerance parameters describing the real portfolio composition best show that socially responsible mutual funds may be even less concerned about the ESG-scores in the preference functional than conventional funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Hirschberger & Ralph E. Steuer & Sebastian Utz & Maximilian Wimmer, 2012. "Is socially responsible investing just screening? Evidence from mutual funds," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2012-025, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-025
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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-025.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hallerbach, Winfried & Ning, Haikun & Soppe, Aloy & Spronk, Jaap, 2004. "A framework for managing a portfolio of socially responsible investments," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 517-529, March.
    2. Dorfleitner, Gregor & Utz, Sebastian, 2012. "Safety first portfolio choice based on financial and sustainability returns," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(1), pages 155-164.
    3. Rob Bauer & Jeroen Derwall & Rogér Otten, 2007. "The Ethical Mutual Fund Performance Debate: New Evidence from Canada," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 111-124, January.
    4. Renneboog, Luc & Ter Horst, Jenke & Zhang, Chendi, 2008. "Socially responsible investments: Institutional aspects, performance, and investor behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1723-1742, September.
    5. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, March.
    6. Benson, Karen L. & Humphrey, Jacquelyn E., 2008. "Socially responsible investment funds: Investor reaction to current and past returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1850-1859, September.
    7. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    8. Bauer, Rob & Koedijk, Kees & Otten, Roger, 2005. "International evidence on ethical mutual fund performance and investment style," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1751-1767, July.
    9. N. Kreander & R.H. Gray & D.M. Power & C.D. Sinclair, 2005. "Evaluating the Performance of Ethical and Non-ethical Funds: A Matched Pair Analysis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(7-8), pages 1465-1493.
    10. Abdelaziz, Fouad Ben & Aouni, Belaid & Fayedh, Rimeh El, 2007. "Multi-objective stochastic programming for portfolio selection," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1811-1823, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socially Responsible Investing; Inverse Portfolio Selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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