Green vs. Social Bond Premium

36 Pages Posted: 21 May 2023

See all articles by Mohamed Ben Slimane

Mohamed Ben Slimane

Amundi Institute

Thierry Roncalli

Amundi Asset Management; University of Evry

Raphaël Semet

University of Paris-Saclay

Date Written: May 15, 2023

Abstract

While responsible investors consider that the environmental and social pillars are highly interconnected when implementing ESG and climate strategies, our research shows that the green and social bond markets are not integrated. Indeed, we notice that the social bond premium is not positively correlated with the greenium. On the contrary, we found a negative long-term relationship between the two premia. If we consider a dynamic analysis, we observe that the premia are highly time-varying. On average, the greenium is about -3 bps while the social bond premium is not significant and close to zero. These results indicate a behavioral difference between the primary and secondary markets. This is particularly true for social bonds that had a positive premium last year. More generally, the level of these two premia (especially the social bond premium) are a long way from reflecting the major concerns about a just transition to a low-carbon economy, and the financing dimension of net zero policies.

In this research, we also highlight the differences between green and social preferences in terms of bond pricing. First, there is a difference between green and social projects when they are financed in euros or other currencies. Clearly, non-euro projects are subject to a higher premium. We also observe that the level of the greenium is related to the credibility of the green project. In line with other academic studies, we confirm that certification, external review and the SDG dimension impact the greenium as expected by the signal theory. On the contrary, it is more difficult to understand the pricing in the social bond market since empirical relationships between the social bond premium and extra-financial factors are missing or seem counter intuitive. Therefore, we can assume that investors consider social bonds to be more conventional instruments than green bonds.

Keywords: Sustainability, green bond, social bond, ESG, climate risk, risk premium, greenium, preferences

JEL Classification: G12, Q5

Suggested Citation

Ben Slimane, Mohamed and Roncalli, Thierry and Semet, Raphaël, Green vs. Social Bond Premium (May 15, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4448651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4448651

Mohamed Ben Slimane

Amundi Institute ( email )

90 Boulevard Pasteur
Paris, 75015
France

Thierry Roncalli (Contact Author)

Amundi Asset Management ( email )

90 Boulevard Pasteur
Paris, 75015
France

University of Evry ( email )

Boulevard Francois Mitterrand
F-91025 Evry Cedex
France

Raphaël Semet

University of Paris-Saclay ( email )

55 Avenue de Paris
Versailles, 78000
France

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