An ESG Ratings Free Assessment of Socially Responsible Investment Strategies
40 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2021
Date Written: December 6, 2020
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings feature statistical and economic problems undermining their reliability as valid proxies for corporates’ social performance. To overcome this ratings providers specific bias, we focus on global sample of ESG-oriented Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Studying passive and pre-committed strategies provide us with several economic and econometric advantages, allowing us to document that Socially Responsible Investments (SRI)-oriented strategies generate significantly higher average stock market returns and liquidity. However, the identified overperformance is concentrated in months of extreme climate activity, while the effect reverses during financial crisis. These findings confirm that investors react to non-pecuniary shocks by increasing the weights assigned to SRI investments in their portfolio, but their preference shifts back towards traditional strategies during economic downturns.
Keywords: Sustainable Investments, Climate Change, Natural Disasters, ETF
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G18
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