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Sovereign Bonds and Socially Responsible Investment

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  • Bastien Drut

Abstract

While the literature on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is mainly focused on the stock market, little attention has been paid to SRI in sovereign bonds. This paper investigates the effect of taking into account socially responsible indicators for countries, the Vigeo Sustainability Ratings (VSR), on the efficient frontier formed with the sovereign bonds of twenty developed countries. It shows that it is possible to increase the portfolios’ VSR rating without significantly harming the risk/return relationship. The analysis then focuses on specific ratings relating to a) the environment, b) social concerns, and c) public governance. The results suggest that socially responsible portfolios of sovereign bonds can be built without a significant diversification cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastien Drut, 2009. "Sovereign Bonds and Socially Responsible Investment," Working Papers CEB 09-014.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:09-014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petrillo, Antonella & De Felice, Fabio & García-Melón, Mónica & Pérez-Gladish, Blanca, 2016. "Investing in socially responsible mutual funds: Proposal of non-financial ranking in Italian market," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 541-555.
    2. repec:eee:quaeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:13-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:annopr:v:244:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2132-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9297 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. García-Bernabeu, A. & Pla-Santamaria, D. & Bravo, M. & Pérez-Gladish, B., 2015. "La protección medioambiental como criterio en la selección de inversiones socialmente responsables: una aproximación multicriterio," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 15(1).
    6. Marie Brière & Bastien Drut & Valérie Mignon & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Is the Market Portfolio Efficient? A New Test of Mean-Variance Efficiency when all Assets are Risky," Finance, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, vol. 34(1), pages 7-41.
    7. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Patricia Crifo & Marc-Arthur Diaye & Rim Oueghlissi & Bert Scholtens, 2016. "Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and sovereign bond spreads: an empirical analysis of OECD countries," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01401718, HAL.
    8. Florian Berg & Paula Margaretic & Sébastien Pouget, 2016. "Sovereign Bond Spreads and Extra-Financial Performance: An Empirical Analysis of Emerging Markets," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 789, Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Hudon, Marek & Périlleux, Anaïs, 2014. "Surplus distribution and characteristics of social enterprises: Evidence from microfinance," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 147-157.
    10. Collet, Stéphanie & Oosterlinck, Kim, 2016. "Pricing the Odious in Odious Debts," CEPR Discussion Papers 11653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Patricia Crifo & Marc-Arthur Diaye & Rim Oueghlissi, 2014. "Measuring the effect of government ESG performance on sovereign borrowing cost," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-37, CIRANO.
    12. Basso, Antonella & Funari, Stefania, 2014. "Constant and variable returns to scale DEA models for socially responsible investment funds," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 235(3), pages 775-783.
    13. repec:eee:spacre:v:19:y:2016:i:1:p:55-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Mohamed Chelli & Yves Gendron, 2013. "Sustainability Ratings and the Disciplinary Power of the Ideology of Numbers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 187-203, January.
    15. Bert Scholtens, 2010. "The Environmental Performance of Dutch Government Bond Funds," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 117-130, April.
    16. Bilbao-Terol, Amelia & Arenas-Parra, Mar & Cañal-Fernández, Verónica & Antomil-Ibias, José, 2014. "Using TOPSIS for assessing the sustainability of government bond funds," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-17.
    17. Bastien Drut, 2009. "Nice but cautious guys: The cost of responsible investing in the bond markets," Working Papers CEB 09-034.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socially Responsible Investment; Sovereign Bonds; Portfolio Selection; Rating; Spanning Tests; Mean-variance efficiency; Portfolio Choice.;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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