The Consequences of Mandatory Corporate Sustainability Reporting
London Business School
Harvard University - Harvard Business School
March 30, 2011
Harvard Business School Research Working Paper No. 11-100
We examine the effect of mandatory corporate sustainability reporting (MCSR) on several measures of social responsibility using both country and firm-level data. Using data for 58 countries, we show that after the adoption of MCSR laws and regulations, the social responsibility of business leaders increases and both sustainable development and employee training become a higher priority for companies. Moreover, for companies in countries with MCSR, corporate governance improves and on average, companies implement more ethical practices, bribery and corruption decrease, and managerial credibility increases. These effects are larger for countries with stronger law enforcement and more widespread assurance of sustainability reports. We complement the country-level analysis using environmental, social and governance metrics at the firm-level in conjunction with a differences-in-differences research design and we find that for the treatment group, energy as well as waste and water consumption significantly decline, while investments in employee training significantly increase after the adoption of MCSR laws and regulations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: sustainability reporting, mandatory reporting, corporate social responsibility, integrated reporting
JEL Classification: A13, I31, J24, J28, M00, M1, M14, M41, D82, D83, D84working papers series
Date posted: April 3, 2011 ; Last revised: October 27, 2012
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