Echoes from the Streets: The Rising Value of Workplace Equality in Investment Decisions

87 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2022 Last revised: 9 Jan 2024

See all articles by Yanru Han

Yanru Han

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business

Date Written: August 29, 2022

Abstract

Using a unique workplace equality measure from online job postings data, I find that investors adjust their holdings towards firms with stronger commitments to workplace equality following the unexpected 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. I show that shifts in investor holdings are primarily driven by financial motives: high-equality firms experienced improved operating performance and faced lower employment discrimination litigation risks after the 2020 BLM movement. Further analysis suggests that, in response to evolving investor behavior, high-equality firms become more proactive in emphasizing their commitment to equality during their communications with investors.

Keywords: Workforce Equality, Big Data, ESG Preferences, Investment Decisions, Institutional Investors

JEL Classification: G11, G23, G41, M14

Suggested Citation

Han, Yanru, Echoes from the Streets: The Rising Value of Workplace Equality in Investment Decisions (August 29, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4203096 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4203096

Yanru Han (Contact Author)

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States

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