Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Integration under Asymmetric Information
55 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2023 Last revised: 17 Apr 2023
Date Written: April 14, 2023
We present a model of ESG integration where borrowers can deviate from ESG promises ex-post. Borrowers are incentivized to pursue ESG projects only when lenders can charge a high borrowing rate, which decreases the borrowers’ private benefit from pursuing financial returns. In the presence of adverse selection on borrowers’ genuine preferences for ESG, there is an equilibrium in which borrowers invest in ESG when ESG lenders place bids first. Specifically, when ESG lenders take out non-ESG borrowers from the lending market, non-ESG lenders perceive the holdout borrowers to genuinely prefer ESG and demand a higher borrowing rate, which then leads to ESG integration.
Keywords: Socially responsible investments, ESG, moral hazard, adverse selection, financial market structure, greenwashing
JEL Classification: D82, D86, G23, G31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation