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SRI funds: Nomen est omen


  • Kempf, Alexander
  • Osthoff, Peer


We test the frequently made claim that SRI funds are conventional funds in disguise. For this purpose, we compare the portfolio holdings of SRI funds to conventional funds concerning their social and environmental standards. Our empirical study of US equity funds shows that SRI funds have a significantly higher ethical ranking than standard funds, i.e., they are not conventional funds in disguise. This result holds for all ethical criteria we investigate. It is stable over time and holds after controlling for several fund characteristics. Finally, we find no evidence that our result is generated by window dressing strategies of SRI funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Kempf, Alexander & Osthoff, Peer, 2007. "SRI funds: Nomen est omen," CFR Working Papers 07-13, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:0713

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-156.
    2. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    3. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    More about this item


    Socially Responsible Mutual Funds; Socially Responsible Investing; Ethical Investment;

    JEL classification:

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