Adoption of CSR and Sustainability Reporting Standards: Economic Analysis and Review

116 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2019

See all articles by Hans Christensen

Hans Christensen

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Luzi Hail

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Christian Leuz

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Center for Financial Studies (CFS); University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center; CESifo Research Network

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2019

Abstract

This study provides an economic analysis of the determinants and consequences of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability reporting. To frame our analysis, we consider a widespread mandatory adoption of CSR reporting standards in the United States. The study focuses on the economic effects of standards for disclosure and reporting, not on the effects of CSR activities and policies themselves. It draws on an extensive review of the relevant academic (CSR and non-CSR) literatures in accounting, economics, finance, and management. Based on a discussion of the fundamental economic forces at play and the key features and determinants of (voluntary) CSR reporting, we derive and evaluate possible economic consequences, including capital-market effects for select stakeholders as well as potential firm responses and real effects in firm behavior. We also highlight issues related to the implementation and enforcement of CSR reporting standards. Our analysis yields a number of insights that are relevant to the current debate on CSR and sustainability reporting and provides scholars with avenues for future research.

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Suggested Citation

Christensen, Hans and Hail, Luzi and Leuz, Christian, Adoption of CSR and Sustainability Reporting Standards: Economic Analysis and Review (August 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26169. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3439179

Hans Christensen (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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Luzi Hail

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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Christian Leuz

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/christian.leuz/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

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Germany

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6218
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CESifo Research Network

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