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Active Ownership

Subject

Finance

Publishing details

IFA Working Paper

Authors / Editors

Dimson E; Karakas O; Li X

Biographies

Publication Year

2014

Abstract

We analyze an extensive proprietary database of corporate social responsibility engagements with US public companies over 1999-2009. Engagements address environmental, social, and governance concerns. Successful (unsuccessful) engagements are followed by positive (zero) abnormal returns. Companies with inferior governance and socially conscious institutional investors are more likely to be engaged. Success in engagements is more probable if the engaged firm has reputational concerns and higher capacity to implement changes. Collaboration among activists is instrumental in increasing the success rate of environmental/social engagements. After successful engagements, particularly on environmental/social issues, companies experience improved accounting performance and governance, and increased institutional ownership.

Keywords

Engagement; corporate social responsibility (CSR); environmental, social, and governance (ESG), socially responsible investing (SRI); universal ownership; shareholder activism

Publication Notes

Revise and Resubmit at the Review of Financial Studies

Series

IFA Working Paper