The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Information in Supply-Chain Contracting: Evidence from the Expansion of CSR Rating Coverage
78 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021 Last revised: 25 Jul 2022
Date Written: July 15, 2022
We examine the effect of CSR information on stakeholder decision-making, specifically on supply-chain contracting. To obtain plausibly exogenous variation in CSR information, we exploit the 2017 expansion of CSR rating coverage from Russell 1000 to Russell 2000 firms (hereafter, “treated firms”) by Thomson Reuters Asset4. Using a difference-in-differences design with the previously covered Russell 1000 supplier firms as the control group, we find a negative effect of the CSR information shock for treated suppliers with comparatively low CSR ratings. On average, these suppliers experience reductions in their number of contracts and corporate customers. In cross-sectional analyses, we document variation in our treatment effects consistent with two underlying mechanisms: (i) benchmarking of suppliers’ CSR by corporate customers and (ii) CSR-related public pressure on customer-supplier contracting. Collectively, our findings provide novel evidence on the causal effect of CSR information on stakeholders’ decision-making.
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR), information comparability, supply chain contracting, third-party data vendors
JEL Classification: G24, G34, M14, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation