Socially Responsible Investments: Methodology, Risk Exposure and Performance

L.D.R. Renneboog, J.R. Ter Horst, C. Zhang

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Abstract

This paper surveys the literature on socially responsible investments (SRI). Over the past decade, SRI has experienced an explosive growth around the world. Particular to the SRI funds is that both financial goals and social objectives are pursued. While corporate social responsibility (CSR) - defined as good corporate governance, sound environmental standards, and good management towards stakeholder relations - may create value for shareholders, participating in other social and ethical issues is likely to destroy shareholder value. Furthermore, the risk-adjusted returns of SRI funds in the US and UK are not significantly different from those of conventional funds, whereas SRI funds in Continental Europe and Asia-Pacific strongly underperform benchmark portfolios. Finally, the volatility of money-flows is lower in SRI funds than of conventional funds, and SRI investors’ decisions to invest in an SRI fund are less affected by management fees than the decisions by conventional fund investors.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherTILEC
Number of pages47
Volume2007-013
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameTILEC Discussion Paper
Volume2007-013

Keywords

  • socially responsible investments
  • ethical investing
  • corporate social responsibility
  • mutual funds
  • performance evaluation
  • money-flows
  • investment screens

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