Information Content of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures in Europe: An Institutional Perspective
76 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 4, 2019
For a sample of STOXX Europe-600 constituents and a reporting period of nine years, we investigate the role of the institutional environment on the value relevance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures in firms’ annual reports. Using textual analysis, we construct topic-specific disclosures measures that examine the prevalence of CSR topics with respect to the EU CSR directive, namely environmental, social and employee matters, human rights, and anti-corruption and bribery. The results reveal the value relevance of CSR disclosures, although the sign depends on the regulatory setting; it is positive before the issuance of the CSR directive and negative after it. Furthermore our results indicate that the incremental value relevance of topic-specific CSR disclosure is affected by the institutional environment, specifically, it is negatively related to country-level CSR awareness as well as employee protection and positively related to both, the legal strength and the level of enforcement. Our results also vary depending by the underlying topics.
Keywords: CSR disclosures, value relevance, information environment, textual analysis
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