The Religions of Social Responsibility

21 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2005

See all articles by Meir Statman

Meir Statman

Santa Clara University - Department of Finance

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

Investors who follow different tenets of social responsibility and choose different socially responsible mutual funds can be described as members of different religions. Some social responsibility religions have a single tenet, such as protection of the environment, while other social responsibility religions combine several tenets, such as avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and weapons. The framework of the economics of religion can help us answer questions such as:

- Why do some mutual funds attract many investors while others attract few?

- What are the differences between strategies that are effective at attracting individual investors to SRI and those effective at attracting institutional ones?

- How do tenets, such as opposition to tobacco, come to the forefront or recede?

- Are government regulations aimed at fostering SRI likely to accomplish their aim or are they likely to retard SRI? And is the SRI movement likely to grow stronger in the U.S. or in Europe?

Keywords: Socially responsible investing, behavioral finance, portfolios

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G18

Suggested Citation

Statman, Meir, The Religions of Social Responsibility (July 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=774386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.774386

Meir Statman (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Department of Finance ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-554-4147 (Phone)
408-554-4029 (Fax)

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