Firm-value effects of CSR disclosure and CSR performance

Conference object English OPEN
Gutsche, Robert ; Schulz, Jan-Frederic ; Gratwοhl, Μichael (2017)
  • Publisher: EFMA
  • Subject: business studies

We examine in this paper the effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and CSR performance on firm value for S&P 500 firms from 2011 to 2014. We find that CSR disclosure is positively associated with firm value and that the effect of CSR disclosure on firm value is larger than the effect of CSR performance. On average, the overall firm value increase for one index point of Bloomberg's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) Disclosure Score is $260 million, whereas the increase for one index point of the Asset4 ESG Performance Score is below $90 million. Moreover, we find that CSR performance scores related to the environment and governance are positively associated with firm value while the social score is negatively associated. Our results suggest that CSR disclosure mediates CSR performance. Based on prior research, we argue that CSR disclosure tends to be positively biased and too complex to be processed properly. We conclude that a relatively high amount of CSR disclosure is misinterpreted as good CSR performance.
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