Shareholder Engagement on Environmental, Social, and Governance Performance

Tamás Barkó, M. Cremers, Luc Renneboog

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We study investor activism promoting environmental, social and governance (ESG)
improvements using a proprietary dataset covering 660 companies globally over 2005-2014. Targets have a higher market share, analyst coverage, stock returns, and liquidity. The engagements lead to significant ESG rating adjustments. Activism is more likely to succeed for companies with a good ex ante ESG track record, and with lower ownership concentration and growth. Successful engagements positively affect sales growth, without changing profitability. Targets outperform matched firms by 2.7% over 6 months postengagement, while the (ex ante) lowest ESG quartile earns an extra 7.5% over 1 year.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • investor activisim
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • socially responsible investing
  • environmental
  • social and governance (ESG)


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