The Impact of Corporate Social and Environment Performance on Credit Rating Prediction: North America versus Europe

Journal of Risk (Forthcoming)

37 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020

See all articles by Gregor Dorfleitner

Gregor Dorfleitner

University of Augsburg - Department of Statistics and Mathematical Economic Theory; University of Regensburg - Department of Finance

Johannes Grebler

University of Regensburg - Department of Finance

Sebastian Utz

University of St. Gallen - School of Finance

Date Written: April 17, 2019

Abstract

We quantify to what extent the quality of credit rating predictions improves through integrating measures of corporate social performance (CSP) in an established credit risk model. We provide comprehensive evidence of the comparative informational advantage of considering CSP in predicting credit ratings of North American and European firms. In the North American sample both environmental and social performance have an explanatory impact. The out-of-sample prediction quality is improved by more than 0.8%. By contrast, only the social performance increases the explanatory power in the European sample while environment performance does not. Overall, we show that CSP is a relevant variable for predicting credit ratings. In general, our findings support the risk mitigation view of CSP indicating that firms with high CSP are less risky and thus have better credit ratings. However, obviously the quality of the relationship depends on the socio-economical and cultural environment as well, as can be seen from the differing results in North America and Europa.

Keywords: Credit risk, Credit ratings prediction, Corporate social performance, Risk mitigation

JEL Classification: G12, G24, M14

Suggested Citation

Dorfleitner, Gregor and Dorfleitner, Gregor and Grebler, Johannes and Utz, Sebastian, The Impact of Corporate Social and Environment Performance on Credit Rating Prediction: North America versus Europe (April 17, 2019). Journal of Risk (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3568191

Gregor Dorfleitner (Contact Author)

University of Regensburg - Department of Finance ( email )

Regensburg, 93040
Germany

University of Augsburg - Department of Statistics and Mathematical Economic Theory ( email )

Augsburg, 86135
Germany

Johannes Grebler

University of Regensburg - Department of Finance

Regensburg, 93040
Germany

Sebastian Utz

University of St. Gallen - School of Finance ( email )

Unterer Graben 21
St.Gallen, CH-9000
Switzerland

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