Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Risk: Theory and Empirical Evidence
Rui A. Albuquerque
Boston College, Carroll School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary
May 1, 2013
UCD & CalPERS Sustainability & Finance Symposium 2013
This paper presents an industry equilibrium model where firms can choose to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR). We model CSR activities as an investment in customer loyalty and derive predictions for how CSR affects systematic risk and firm value. The paper tests the predictions empirically and finds evidence consistent with the following: CSR firms exhibit lower systematic risk and this effect is stronger in differentiated goods industries, in consumer goods industries and in industries where the market capitalization of CSR firms is lowest; CSR firms have higher firm value; and, the ratio of CSR profits to non-CSR profits is countercyclical. In the empirical tests, we address a potential endogeneity problem by instrumenting CSR using data on the political affiliation of the firm’s home state, and data on environmental and engineering disasters and product recalls.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 59
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, customer loyalty, systematic risk, expected return, industry equibrium
JEL Classification: G12, G32, D43, L13, M14
Date posted: February 7, 2013 ; Last revised: July 9, 2013
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