ESG Performance and Voluntary ESG Disclosure: Mind the (Gender Pay) Gap
51 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2022
Date Written: May 13, 2022
We study if firms with better ESG performance are more likely to provide voluntary ESG disclosure, an assumption embedded in many ESG ratings. We focus on gender diversity and proxy for performance using a firm's gender pay gap ("GPG") disclosed under a UK disclosure mandate. Contrary to the prediction of traditional disclosure models, before the mandate, we find firms with better GPGs are less likely to voluntarily disclose other information on gender diversity. As a practical implication, these firms have lower social scores from ESG rating companies. We find suggestive evidence that firms with better GPGs do not need to disclose because they already receive workplace diversity awards and that firms with worse GPGs engage in selective disclosure.
Keywords: Gender Pay Gap, Gender Diversity, Voluntary Disclosure, ESG Ratings, ESG, Corporate Social Responsibility
JEL Classification: D80, M14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation