Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility

29 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2010  

Jean Tirole

University of Toulouse 1 - Industrial Economic Institute (IDEI); University of Toulouse 1 - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Mathématique et Quantitative (GREMAQ); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Roland Bénabou

Princeton University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 17, 2010

Abstract

Society’s demands for individual and corporate social responsibility as an alternative response to market and distributive failures are becoming increasingly prominent. We first draw on recent developments in the “psychology and economics” of prosocial behavior to shed light on this trend, which reflects a complex interplay of genuine altruism, social or self image concerns, and material incentives. We then link individual concerns to corporate social responsibility, contrasting three possible understandings of the term: the adoption of a more long-term perspective by firms, the delegated exercise of prosocial behavior on behalf of stakeholders, and insider-initiated corporate philanthropy. For both individuals and firms we discuss the benefits, costs and limits of socially responsible behavior as a means to further societal goals.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Socially Responsible Investment, Image Concerns, Shareholder Value

JEL Classification: D64, D78, H41, L31

Suggested Citation

Tirole, Jean and Bénabou, Roland, Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility (March 17, 2010). FEEM Working Paper No. 23.2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1573694 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1573694

Jean Tirole (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse 1 - Industrial Economic Institute (IDEI) ( email )

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University of Toulouse 1 - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Mathématique et Quantitative (GREMAQ) ( email )

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Toulouse, 31000
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

Roland Bénabou

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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United States
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

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