Trends in the Literature on Socially Responsible Investment: Looking for the Keys Under the Lamppost

Business Ethics: A European Review, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2012

See all articles by Gunther Capelle-Blancard

Gunther Capelle-Blancard

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES); PSB Paris School of Business

Stéphanie Monjon

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France

Date Written: October 3, 2011

Abstract

In this paper, we use online search engines and archive collections to examine the popularity of socially responsible investing (SRI) in newspapers and academic journals. A simple content analysis suggests that most of the papers on SRI focus on financial performance. This profusion of research is somewhat puzzling as most of the studies used roughly the same methodology and obtained very similar results. So, why so many studies on SRI financial performance? We argue that the academic literature on SRI is mostly data-driven: the famous “Looking for the Keys Under the Lamppost” syndrome. The question of the financial performance of the SRI funds is certainly relevant, but maybe too much attention has been paid to this issue, whereas more research is needed on a conceptual and theoretical ground, in particular the aspirations of SRI investors, the relationship between regulation and SRI, as well as the assessment of extra-financial performances.

Keywords: socially responsible investment, ethical investment, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, content analysis, conceptual analysis, financial performance

JEL Classification: A13, G1, G2, M14

Suggested Citation

Capelle-Blancard, Gunther and Monjon, Stéphanie, Trends in the Literature on Socially Responsible Investment: Looking for the Keys Under the Lamppost (October 3, 2011). Business Ethics: A European Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1978815

Gunther Capelle-Blancard (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
106-112 Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

PSB Paris School of Business ( email )

59 rue Nationale
Paris, 75013
France

Stéphanie Monjon

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France ( email )

Campus du Jardin Tropical
45 bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle
F94736 Nogent sur Marne Cedex
France

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