The Effect of Firm-Level ESG Practices on Macroeconomic Performance
University of Oxford | Working Paper No. 20-03
47 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2020 Last revised: 17 Aug 2020
Date Written: June 3, 2020
This paper investigates whether the development and adoption of firm-level environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices affects national macroeconomic performance, and whether this differs between developed countries and emerging economies. Using dynamic panel techniques – generalised method-of-moments (GMM) estimators – we find that an increase of micro-ESG performance can result in the improvement of living standards as measured by GDP per capita. When we test this link by country type, we find that firm-level social performance in a country is positively associated with GDP per capita in both developed countries and emerging economies. As for the other two components of firm-level ESG measures, namely environmental and governance performance, we find that these affect macroeconomic performance in emerging economies, but that the effects remain insignificant in developed countries. While further research is needed, these results may be of particular interest to policymakers and central banks, as they suggest that encouraging the adoption of ESG practices at the firm-level could support macroeconomic performance.
Keywords: Firm-level ESG performance, Economic growth, GDP per capita
JEL Classification: G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation