ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk
56 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2016 Last revised: 3 Jun 2020
Date Written: September 19, 2019
We examine whether engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can benefit shareholders by reducing firms’ downside risk, measured using the lower partial moment and value at risk. Using a proprietary database, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis. We further find that the measured risk effects vary across engagement success and engagement themes. Engagement appears most effective in lowering downside risk when addressing environmental topics (primarily climate change). We find corroborating evidence in that successful engagement reduces the firm’s exposure to a downside‐risk factor.
Keywords: ESG, Shareholder Activism, Downside Risk, Corporate Governance, Climate Change
JEL Classification: G32, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation