Corporate social responsibility and financial performance: a non-linear and disaggregated approach

Joscha Nollet, George Filis, Evangelos Mitrokostas

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    The present paper examines the relationship between Corporate Social Performance (CSP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP), using both accounting-based (Return on Assets and Return on Capital) and market-based (Stock Returns) performance indicators. We use Bloomberg’s Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Disclosure score covering the S&P500 firms in the period 2007-2011 which allows for the examination of both linear and non linear relationships to be considered. The results of the linear model suggest that there is a significant negative relationship between CSP and Return on Capital. However, the non linear models provide evidence of a U-shaped relationship between CSP and the accounting-based measures of CFP, suggesting that in the longer run CSP effects are positive. Most prominent among our results is that fact that by disentangling the ESG Disclosure score into its environmental, social and governance sub-components, we find that a U-shaped relationship exists only between the governance sub-component and CFP. These results confirm recent advances in theoretical literature which suggests that CSR oriented governance leads to improved CFP.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)400-407
    JournalEconomic Modelling
    Issue numberPart B
    Early online date19 Oct 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


    • Corporate Financial Performance
    • Corporate Social Performance
    • Environmental Social Governance Disclosure score
    • Governance


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