Does It Really Pay to Do Better? Exploring the Financial Effects of Changes in CSR Ratings
Benlemlih, M., Jaballah, J., & Peillex, J. (2018). Does it really pay to do better? Exploring the financial effects of changes in CSR ratings. Applied Economics, 50(51), 5464-5482.
39 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020
Date Written: July 11, 2018
Previous literature on the link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance has focused mainly on the financial implications of a firm’s level of CSR without considering the potential effects on financial performance of variations in CSR rating. We try to fill this gap by studying whether variations in a firm’s CSR rating affect systematic risk, firm value, and portfolio performance. First, our results show that an increase in firms’ CSR efforts, as reflected by an increase in their CSR ratings, significantly reduces systematic risk. Second, a positive variation in CSR ratings significantly improves firm value. Finally, from a portfolio perspective, a strategy that consists of buying stocks that have experienced a CSR ratings increase and selling stocks that have experienced a CSR ratings decrease (or remain stable) leads to lower financial performance. Taken together, our findings provide new evidence and financial implications for firms and portfolio managers.
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Extra-financial ratings; Firm risk; Firm value; Portfolio management
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