Archiv der Kategorie: Immobilien

Supplier ESG illustrated with delivery man by 28819275 from Pixabay

Supplier ESG – Researchpost #144

Supplier ESG: 17x new research on SDG, green behavior, subsidies, SMEs, ESG ratings, real estate, risk management, sin stocks, trading, suppliers, acting in concert, AI and VC by Alexander Bassen, Andreas G.F. Hoepner, and many more (#: SSRN downloads on Sept. 21st, 2023)

Too late? Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries by Katherine Richardson and many more as of Sept. 13th, 2023: “This planetary boundaries framework update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity. Ocean acidification is close to being breached, while aerosol loading regionally exceeds the boundary. Stratospheric ozone levels have slightly recovered. The transgression level has increased for all boundaries earlier identified as overstepped. As primary production drives Earth system biosphere functions, human appropriation of net primary production is proposed as a control variable for functional biosphere integrity. This boundary is also transgressed. Earth system modeling of different levels of the transgression of the climate and land system change boundaries illustrates that these anthropogenic impacts on Earth system must be considered in a systemic context“ (abstract).

Ecological research (corporate perspective)

Social measures: How useful are convenient measures of pro-environmental behavior? Evidence from a field study on green self-reports and observed green behavior by Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg, Martin Binder, and Israel Waichmann as of Aug. 20th, 2023 (#12): “We conduct a field study with n = 599 participants recruited in the town hall of a German medium-sized town to compare self-reports of pro-environmental behavior of our participants with observed behavior (green product choice and donation to real charities). Our results indicate that self-reports are only weakly correlated to incentivized behavior in our sample of an adult population (r = .09∗ ), partly because pro-environmental behavior measures can conflate prosocial and pro-environmental preferences. … Our results … cast some doubt on the validity of commonly used convenient measures of pro-environmental behavior“ (abstract).

Expensive subsidies: Converting the Converted: Subsidies and Solar Adoption by Linde Kattenberg, Erdal Aydin, Dirk Brounen, and Nils Kok as of July 25th, 2023 (#18): „… there is limited empirical evidence on the effectiveness of subsidies that are used to promote the adoption of such (Sö: renewable energy) technologies. This paper exploits a natural experimental setting, in which a solar PV subsidy is assigned randomly within a group of households applying for the subsidy. Combining data gathered from 100,000 aerial images with detailed information on 15,000 households … The results show that, within the group of households that applied for the subsidy, the provision of subsidy leads to a 14.4 percent increase in the probability of adopting solar PV, a 9.6 percent larger installation, and a 1-year faster adoption. However, examining the subsequent electricity consumption of the applicants, we report that the subsidy provision leads to a decrease in household electricity consumption of just 8.1 percent, as compared to the rejected applicant group, implying a cost of carbon of more than €2,202 per ton of CO2”.

Regulatory SME effects: The EU Sustainability Taxonomy: Will it Affect Small and Medium-sized Enterprises? by Ibrahim E. Sancak as of Sept. 6th, 2023 (#52): “The EU Sustainability Taxonomy (EUST) is a new challenge for companies, particularly SMEs and financial market participants; however, it potentially conveys its economic value; hence, reliable taxonomy reporting and strong sustainability indicators can yield enormously. … We conclude that the EU’s sustainable finance reforms have potential domino effects. Backed by the European Green Deal, sustainable finance reforms, and in particular, the EUST, will not be limited to large companies or EU companies; they will affect all economic actors having business and finance connections in the EU“ (p. 14).

ESG rating credits: Determinants of corporate credit ratings: Does ESG matter? by Lachlan Michalski and Rand Kwong Yew Low as of Aug. 19th, 2023 (#25): “We show that environmental and social responsibility variables are important determinants for the credit ratings, specifically measures of environmental innovation, resource use, emissions, corporate social responsibility, and workforce determinants. The influence of ESG variables become more pronounced following the financial crisis of 2007-2009, and are important across both investment-grade and speculative-grade classes” (abstract).

Climate risk management: Climate and Environmental risks and opportunities in the banking industry: the role of risk management by Doriana Cucinelli, Laura Nieri, and Stefano Piserà as of Aug. 18th, 2023 (#22): “We base our analysis on a sample of 112 European listed banks observed from 2005 to 2021. Our results … provide evidence that banks with a stronger and more sophisticated risk management are more likely to implement a better climate change risk strategy. … Our findings underline that bank providing their employees and managers with specific training programs on environmental topics, or availing of the presence of a CSR committee, or adopting environmental-linked remuneration scheme, stand out for a greater engagement towards C&E risks and opportunities and a sounder C&E strategy” (p. 16).

Generic ESG Research (investor perspective)

ESG dissected: It’s All in the Detail: Individual ESG Factors and Firm Value by Ramya Rajajagadeesan Aroul, Riette Carstens and Julia Freybote as of Aug. 25th, 2023 (#29): “We disaggregate ESG into its individual factors (E, S and G) and investigate their impact on firm value using publicly listed equity real estate investment trusts (REITs) as a laboratory over the period of 2009 to 2021. … We find that the environmental factor (E) and governance factor (G) positively predict firm value while the social factor (S) negatively predicts it. … Further analysis into antecedents of firm value suggests that our results are driven by 1) E reducing cost of debt and increasing financial flexibility, operating efficiency, and performance, 2) S leading to a higher cost of debt as well as lower financial flexibility and operating performance, and 3) G increasing operating efficiency. … We also find evidence for time-variations in the relationships of E, S and G with firm value and its determinants” (abstract). My comment: This is not really new as one can see in my publication from 2014: 140227 ESG_Paper_V3 1 (

Greenbrown valuations: The US equity valuation premium, globalization, and climate change risks by Craig Doidge, G. Andrew Karolyi, and René M. Stulz as of Sept. 15th, 2023 (#439): “It is well-known that before the GFC (Sö: Global Financial Crisis of 2008), on average, US firms were valued more highly than non-US firms. We call this valuation difference the US premium. We show that, for firms from DMs (Sö: Developed Markets), the US premium is larger after the crisis than before. By contrast, the US premium for firms from EMs (Sö: Emerging Markets) falls. In percentage terms, the US premium for DMs increases by 27% while the US premium for EMs falls by 24%. … the differing evolution of the US premium for DM firms and for EM firms is concentrated among old economy firms – older firms in industries that have a high ratio of tangible assets to total assets. … We find that the valuations of firms in brown industries in non-US DMs fell significantly relative to comparable firm valuations in the US and this decline among brown industries in EMs did not take place. Though this mechanism does not explain the increase in the US premium for firms in DMs fully, it explains much of that increase. It follows from this that differences across countries in the importance given to sustainability and ESG considerations can decrease the extent to which financial markets across the world are integrated“ (p. 28).

Sin ESG: Does ESG impact stock returns for controversial companies? by Sonal and William Stearns as of Sept. 2nd, 2023 (#35): “We find that the market perception of ESG investments of controversial firms have changed over time. For the 2010-2015 period, ESG investments made by sinful firms are rewarded positively by increasing stock prices. However, for the sample period post 2015, increases in ESG no longer result in positive stock returns. We further find the maximum change for the oil and gas industry“ (p. 11/12). My comment see ESG Transition Bullshit? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Portfolio ESG effects: Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Shocks in Commercial Real Estate Market by Rogier Holtermans, Dongxiao Niu, and Siqi Zheng as of Sept. 7th, 2023 (#251): “We focus on Hurricanes Harvey and Sandy to quantify the price impacts of climate shocks on commercial buildings in the U.S. We find clear evidence of a decline in transaction prices in hurricane-damaged areas after the hurricane made landfall, compared to unaffected areas. We also observe that …. Assets in locations outside the FEMA floodplain (with less prior perception about climate risk) have experienced larger price discounts after the hurricanes. … Moreover, the price discount is larger when the particular buyer has more climate awareness and has a more geographically diverse portfolio, so it is easier for her to factor in this risk in the portfolio construction” (abstract).

ESG investors or traders? Do ESG Preferences Survive in the Trading Room? An Experimental Study by Alexander Bassen, Rajna Gibson Brandon, Andreas G.F. Hoepner, Johannes Klausmann, and Ioannis Oikonomou as of Sept. 19th, 2023 (#12): “This study experimentally tests in a competitive trading room whether Socially Responsible Investors (SRIs) and students are consistent with their stated ESG preferences. … The results suggest that all participants who view ESG issues as important (ESG perception) trade more aggressively irrespective of whether the news are related to ESG matters or not. … More importantly, SRIs trade on average much less aggressively than students irrespective of their ESG perceptions and behaviors” (abstract). … “Investors mostly consider macroeconomic and id[1]iosyncratic financial news in their investment decisions. Updates on the ESG performance of a firm are perceived as less likely to move prices by the participants. In addition to that, we observe a stronger reaction to positive news compared to negative news” (p. 26). My comment: I prefer most-passive rules based to active investments, compare Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( or Active or impact investing? – (

Supplier ESG research (also see Supplier engagement – Opinion post #211)

Supplier ESG shocks: ESG Shocks in Global Supply Chains by Emilio Bisetti, Guoman She, and Alminas Zaldokas as of Sept. 6th, 2023 (#38): “We show that U.S. firms cut imports by 29.9% and are 4.3% more likely to terminate a trade relationship when their international suppliers experience environmental and social (E&S) incidents. These trade cuts are larger for publicly listed U.S. importers facing high E&S investor pressure and lead to cross-country supplier reallocation …. Larger trade cuts around the scandal result in higher supplier E&S scores in subsequent years, and in the eventual resumption of trade” (abstract).

Sustainable supplier reduction: A Supply Chain Sourcing Model at the Interface of Operations and Sustainability by Gang Li and Yu A. Xia as of Aug. 25th, 2023 (#204): “This research investigates … how to integrate sustainability with sourcing planning decisions and how to address the challenges associated with the integration, such as the balance between operational factors and sustainability factors and the quantitative evaluation of sustainability performance. … Our model suggests that while increasing the number of suppliers may cause additional sustainability risk in supply chain management, decreasing the supply base will decrease the production capacity and increase the risk of delivery delay. Therefore, a firm should carefully set up its global sourcing network with only a limited number of selected suppliers. This finding is particularly true when the focus of sourcing planning gradually moves away from decisions based solely on cost to those seeking excellence in both supply chain sustainability and cost performance“ (p. 32).

Empowering stakeholders: Stakeholder Governance as Governance by Stakeholders by Brett McDonnell as of August 31st, 2023 (#64): “… American stakeholder engagement is limited to soliciting (and on occasion responding to) the opinions of employees, customers, suppliers, and others. True stakeholder governance would involve these groups in actively making corporate decisions. I have suggested various ways we could do this. The focus should be on employees, who could be empowered via board representation, works councils, and unions. Other stakeholders could be less fully empowered through councils, advisory at first but potentially given power to nominate or even elect directors” (p. 19).

Impact investment research (supplier ESG)

Anti-climate concert: Rethinking Acting in Concert: Activist ESG Stewardship is Shareholder Democracy by Dan W. Puchniak and Umakanth Varottil as of Sept. 13th, 2023 (#187): “… the legal barriers posed by acting in concert rules in virtually all jurisdictions prevent institutional investors from engaging in collective shareholder activism with the aim or threat of replacing the board (i.e., “activist stewardship”). Perversely, the current acting in concert rules effectively prevent institutional investors from replacing boards that resist (or even deny) climate change solutions – even if (or, ironically, precisely because) they collectively have enough shareholder voting rights to democratically replace the boards of recalcitrant brown companies. This heretofore hidden problem in corporate and securities law effectively prevents trillions of dollars of shareholder voting rights that institutional investors legally control from being democratically exercised to change companies who refuse to properly acknowledge the threat of climate change” … (abstract).

Other investment research

AI investment risks: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Future Retail Investment by Imtiaz Sifat as of Sept. 12th, 2023 (#20): “I have analyzed AI’s integration in retail investment. … The benefits spring from access to sophisticated strategies once exclusive to institutional investors. The downside is that the opaque models which facilitate such strategies may aggravate risks and information asymmetry for retail investors. To stop this gap from widening, proper governance is essential. Similarly, the ability to ingest copious alternative data and instantaneous portfolio optimization incurs a tradeoff—too much dependence on historical data invokes modelling biases and data quality cum privacy concerns. It is also likely that AI-dominated markets of the future will be more volatile, and new forms of speculation would emerge as trading platforms incentivize speculation and gamification. The combined forces of these concurrent challenges put a heavy stress on orthodox finance theories …“ (p. 16/17). Maybe interesting: AI: Wie können nachhaltige AnlegerInnen profitieren? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Venture careers: Failing Just Fine: Assessing Careers of Venture Capital-backed Entrepreneurs via a Non-Wage Measure by Natee Amornsiripanitch, Paul A. Gompers, George Hu, Will Levinson, and Vladimir Mukharlyamov as of Aug. 30th, 2023 (#131): “Would-be founders experience accelerated career trajectories prior to founding, significantly outperforming graduates from same-tier colleges with similar first jobs. After exiting their start-ups, they obtain jobs about three years more senior than their peers who hold (i) same-tier college degrees, (ii) similar first jobs, and (iii) similar jobs immediately prior to founding their company. Even failed founders find jobs with higher seniority than those attained by their non-founder peers“ (abstract).


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Many greens: Picture from Alexa from Pixabay with 3 frogs

Many greens: Researchpost #133

Many greens: 12x new research on crypto spillovers, toxic risks, greenwashing, green lending, greening ECB, climate communications, climate policy costs, green bonds, impact investing, inclusive fintech, political engagement and digital angst (# SSRN downloads on June 30ths)

Social and ecological research: Many greens

Crypto spillovers: The Effects of Cryptocurrency Wealth on Household Consumption and Investment by Darren Aiello, Scott R. Baker, Tetyana Balyuk, Marco Di Maggio, Mark J. Johnson, and Jason Kotter as of June 28th, 2023 (#421): “Using financial transaction-level data for millions of U.S. households, we show that household crypto investors appear to treat crypto as one piece of an investment portfolio, some households chasing crypto gains and other households rebalancing a portion of crypto gains into traditional brokerage investments. Households also use crypto wealth to increase their discretionary consumption. The MPC (Sö: Marginal propensity to consume) out of crypto wealth is substantially higher than the MPC out of equity wealth …. Households also withdraw crypto gains to purchase housing—both to enter the market as new buyers and to upgrade their existing housing. This increased spending on housing puts upward pressure on local house prices, particularly in areas that are heavily exposed to crypto assets” (p. 33). My comment: I am worried about the effects of future crypto crashes on the real economy

Toxic effects: Pollution Risk and Business Activity by George Zhe Tian, Buvaneshwaran Venugopal, and Vijay Yerramilli as of June 18th, 2023 (#32): “… we use major toxic chemical spills as shocks to the pollution risk of their local neighborhoods and examine the consequent effects on local small business. …. Establishments in the smallest size quartile experience large reduction in sales, modest reduction in employment, and significant increase in likelihood of exit following exposure to pollution shocks, whereas those in the largest size quartile experience increase in sales and employment. … We also find that there is a significant and persistent exodus of population and income from counties that experience major toxic spills“ (p. 33/34).

Japanese greenwashing: Environmental Greenwashing: The Role of Corporate Governance and Assurance by Frendy, Tomoki Oshika, and Masayuki Koike as of May 17th, 2023 (#82): “First, companies with an indication of greenwashing decrease the extent of their disclosures for a given level of environmental performance. Second, those companies are likely to employ environmental assurance to intensify the greenwashing practice. … We found that organizational-level corporate governance characteristics of Japanese corporations are ineffective in mitigating greenwashing“ (p. 20).

Climate enforcement: The Environmental Spillover Effect through Private Lending by Lili Dai, Wayne R. Landsman, and Zihang Peng as of May 13th,2023 (#69): “We find evidence indicating that when one borrower experiences an enforcement action targeted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), other firms sharing the common lender reduce toxic emissions in the following years. This spillover effect is more pronounced for lenders with stronger monitoring incentives and abilities and for borrowers with greater environmental pressures and larger similarities to EPA-targeted firms. Further analyses show increased abatement efforts and decreased profit margins following the enforcement shocks spread through lending networks. Taken together, these findings suggest that lenders can learn from and respond to borrowers’ EPA enforcement actions when dealing with other borrowers that pose similar environmental risks” (abstract).

ECB climate policy: Enhancing Climate Resilience of Monetary Policy Implementation in the Euro Area by Jana Aubrechtová, Elke Heinle, Rafel Moyà Porcel, Boris Osorno Torres, Anamaria Piloiu, Ricardo Queiroz, Torsti Silvonen, and Lia Vaz Cruz of the ECB as of June 23rd, 2023 (#28): “The European Central Bank (ECB) extensively reviewed its monetary policy implementation framework in 2020-21 to better account also for climate change risks. This paper describes these considerations in detail to provide a holistic perspective of one central bank’s climate-related work in relation to its monetary policy implementation framework. … Climate-related disclosures, improvements in risk assessment, a strengthened collateral framework and tilting of corporate bond purchases are the main pillars of the framework enhancements. … It also takes stock of the different challenges involved in the identification and estimation of climate change-related risk, how these can be partially overcome, and when they cannot be overcome, how they can constrain the ability of financial institutions, including central banks, to take further action. … This paper also examines possible future avenues that central banks, including the ECB, might take to further refine their monetary policy implementation using an assessment framework for climate change-related adjustments“ (abstract).

Climate communication: Ten key principles: How to communicate climate change for effective public engagement by Maike Sippel, Chris Shaw, and George Marshall as of June 19th, 2022 (#364): “This report summarises up-to-date social science evidence on climate communication for effective public engagement. It presents ten key principles that may inform communication activities. At the heart of them is the following insight: People do not form their attitudes or take action as a result primarily of weighing up expert information and making rational cost-benefit calculations. Instead, climate communication has to connect with people at the level of values and emotions. Two aspects seem to be of special importance: First, climate communication needs to focus more on effectively speaking to people who have up to now not been properly addressed by climate communications, but who are vitally important to build broad public engagement. Second, climate communication has to support a shift from concern to agency, where high levels of climate risk perception turn into pro-climate individual and collective action” (abstract).

Responsible investment research: Many greens

Climate policy costs: The Impact of Climate Change and Carbon Policy on Company Earnings by Matt Goldklang, Bingzhi Zhao, Ummul Ruthbah, Trinh Le, and Ben Bowring as of June 22th, 2023 (#158): “… we … build a framework for an asset-level, climate adjusted valuation of company earnings. In the European context, we see disparate impacts between and within sectors with carbon pricing impacts largest in the heavy emitting sectors, equivalent to -2% of earnings at the mean, whereas the physical impacts of climate change are more geographically segregated, with a median impact of -14% discounted 20 years into the future“ (abstract).

Brown trust: Green bonds pay when trustworthy by Sang Baum Kanga and Jiyong Eom as of May 30th, 2023 (#37): “… our empirical results support that green bond investors would pay more when they have greater confidence in the green management capability of the issuer. … the higher the relative intensity of GHG emissions, the greater the wedge between the green bond yield and the corresponding ”brown” bond yield. This may be puzzling to some readers because a firm with inferior environmental performance issues a more expensive green bond. However, the opportunity costs can explain this counter-intuitive finding. When a firm emits more GHG emissions, the firm is exposed to greater transition risk, and the firm’s environmental and financial successes become more correlated. Thus, the opportunity costs of committing greenwashing becomes higher, and the firm is more likely to use green bond proceeds responsibly. Therefore, the investor can regard the firm’s issuance of green bonds as a credible sign of commitment to green projects. Additionally, the markets are found to be statistically and economically sensitive to direct emissions (scope 1 emissions) rather than indirect emissions (scope 2 and 3 emissions) of bond issuers. According to our empirical results, the sub-investment-grade green bonds’ greenium is more negative than investment-grade green bonds. This may also surprise some audiences as the value of a green bond relative to its otherwise-equivalent conventional bond increases with a lower credit rating. …. Some might think the average greenium of -41 bps is small. However, recall that our sample, January 2013 to October 2021, is from low-interest-rate periods. More importantly, our primary market results are much more negative than other recent papers. … We conjecture that the green investors’ environmental preference may be reflected more clearly in the primary market, given their motives for providing affordable funds to the firm investing in green projects” (p. 18/19).

Impact PE: Private Market Impact Investing: A Turning Point by Michael Eisenberg, Katerina Labrousse and Ribhu Ranjan Baruah from the World Economic Forum as of May 8th, 2023: “Today, far more GPs (Sö: General Partners) at the higher end of the market are launching impact and energy transition products across private market asset classes and strategies, including infrastructure, buyouts, venture, private credit and other real assets. That means more and larger investments are made in impact-focused businesses, enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy” (p. 5). “Despite the many positive developments in the area of private market impact and transition investing over the last several years, much work remains to drive more capital to address the SDGs and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Asset owners need to further understand and develop convictions about the long-term secular tailwinds and favourable trends these opportunities present. Likewise, GPs need to further develop their track records and attract even more impact and transition investing talent to expand their capabilities in these areas and raise larger pools of capital over time” (p. 28). My comment: For public market “impact” investing see e.g. ESG Transition Bullshit? – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( and Active or impact investing? – (

Inclusive fintech: Fintech and Financial Inclusion: A Review of the Empirical Literature by Carter Faust, Anthony J. Dukes and D. Daniel Sokol as of May 16th, 2023 (#61): “Fintech has proven to enable financial inclusion on a global scale. This review highlighted case studies that demonstrate how digital lending, digital payment, and mobile money platforms can bring financial services to unbanked and underbanked communities. It further provided examples of how fintech can increase resilience in times of economic crises and shock, especially in underdeveloped regions. This review also acknowledged common challenges associated with the adoption of fintech, such as consumer data and privacy concerns, as well as infrastructure and education barriers“ (p. 151)

Political engagement: Collaborative investor engagement with policymakers: Changing the rules of the game? by Camila Yamahaki and Catherine Marchewitz as of June 25th, 2023 (#18): “A growing number of investors are engaging with policymakers on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, but little academic research exists on investor policy engagement. Applying universal ownership theory and drawing on eleven case studies of policy engagement … We identify a trend that investors engage with sovereigns to fulfil their fiduciary duty, improve investment risk management, and create an enabling environment for sustainable investments“ (abstract). My comment: Regarding shareholder engagement see also Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – (

and other research

Digital angst: Digital Anxiety in the Finance Function: Consequences and Mitigating Factors by Sebastian Firk, Yannik Gehrke and Miachel Wolff as of May 13th, 2023 (#36): “Based on a survey of more than 1,000 employees working in the finance function of a large multinational business group, we observe that digital anxiety is relevant among 40% of the respondents. We further find that digital anxiety is negatively associated with employees’ work engagement, which further relates to fewer realized benefits from digital technologies. Finally, we argue and find that digital trainings, the digital affinity of peers, and transformational leadership can help to mitigate digital anxiety among employees” (p. 31).


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Climate reporting: Picture Facts by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Climate reporting: Researchpost #128

Climate reporting: 13x new research regarding inequality, climate reporting, biodiversity, green bonds, external costs, private equity real estate, gold, equal weighting, correlations, tail risks, robo advisors and AI (# indicates the number of SSRN downloads on May 22nd, 2023)

Ecological and social research

Inequality: Climate Inequality Report 2023 by Lucas Chancel, Philipp Bothe, and Tancrède Voituriez from the World Inequality Lab as of Jan. 30th, 2023: “The accelerating climate crisis is largely fuelled by the polluting activities of a fraction of the world population. The global top 10% are responsible for almost half of global carbon emissions and the global top 1% of emitters are responsible for more emissions than the entire bottom half of the world’s population. … within-country carbon inequality now makes up the bulk of global emissions inequality, i.e. about two thirds of the total, an almost complete reversal as compared to 1990. The carbon budgets needed to eradicate poverty below the US$ 5.50/day poverty line are equal to roughly one third of the current emissions attributable to the top 10% of global emitters. … Many countries in the Global South are significantly poorer today than they would have been in the absence of climate change. This trend is set to continue and result in income losses of more than 80% for many tropical and subtropical countries by the end of the century. Within countries, the poor suffer stronger losses from climate impacts than more affluent population groups. The income losses from climate hazards of the bottom 40% are estimated to be 70% larger than the average in low- and middle-income countries” (p. 9).

Responsible investment research: Climate reporting

Climate reporting (1): The MSCI Net-Zero Tracker by MSCI Research as of May 2023: “35% of listed companies have disclosed at least some of their Scope 3 emissions … 44% of listed companies have set a decarbonization target … 17% of listed companies have published a climate target that, if achieved, would align carbon emissions across the company’s total value chain with the ambitious 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement … Listed companies are on a path to warm the planet by 2.7° above preindustrial levels this century … Just over half (51%) of listed companies align with warming equal to or below 2°C, placing them at the high end of the Paris Agreement’s uppermost temperature threshold … Unlisted companies in four of the five most emissions-intensive industry groups were less carbon-intensive than their listed counterparts on aggregate …Real-assets funds held the most emissions-intensive industries per dollar of financing, followed by mezzanine- and distressed-debt funds … The carbon intensity of all three fund types was more than triple the carbon intensity of buyout funds” (p. 4/5). My comment: I try to engage with all my fund portfolio companies to report broad Scope 3 data, see Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – (

Climate reporting (2): The Climate Transition Is Increasingly about Opportunity by Chris Cote and Guido Giese of MSCI Research as of May 15th, 2023: “We have found that in the most emissions-intensive sectors, for example, companies that had a higher share of revenue from alternative energy, energy efficiency and green buildings had significantly faster earnings growth than their sector peers over a period of roughly seven-and-a-half years that ended on March 31, 2023” (p. 3). … only 155 companies (1.7% of the listed universe), with a total market cap of USD 1.6 trillion, earned more than half of their revenues from such (SÖ: alternative energy or energy efficiency) activities, our analysis finds. … We found in our data that many of the more than 3,800 listed companies (42% of that universe) that have published a decarbonization target, for example, do not explain how they plan to meet their climate-related goals” (p. 6).

Biodiversity risks: Nature positive: How the world’s largest companies depend on nature and biodiversity by Esther Whieldon, Shirley Yap, Lokesh Raikwar, and Gautier Desme of S&P Global as of May 10th, 2023: “85% of the world’s largest companies that make up the S&P Global 1200 have a significant dependence onn nature across their direct operations … 46% of companies in this universe … have at least one asset located in a Key Biodiversity Area …”.

Control advantage: Corporate Green Bonds: The role of external reviews for investment greenness and disclosure quality by Tami Dinh, Florian Eugster, and Anna Husmann as of May 19th, 2023 (#69): „Our results indicate that although companies with worse environmental performance are more likely to obtain at-issuance external reviews for their green bonds, their certified investments are more likely to be greener than companies that did not obtain a review at issuance. … Additionally, we develop a disclosure index for green bond reports and exhibit how post-issuance report assurance is associated with increased transparency” (abstract).

External costs: Auf dem netto-positiven Weg? Wie Unternehmen Wert schaffen – Messung und Integration von Nachhaltigkeit in die strategische Planung von Martin G. Viehöver at al von Positive Impacts vom 2. September 2022: „Im Allgemeinen erzeugen alle Industriesektoren im Durchschnitt einen positiven Gesellschaftlichen Wert, aber auch Gesellschaftliche Verluste aufgrund der entstehenden gesellschaftlichen Kosten (externe Effekte). Es wurde jedoch bestätigt, dass Unternehmen gesellschaftliche Erträge erzielen können, indem die von ihnen gezahlten Steuern höher als die gesellschaftlichen Kosten waren, wie es bei 20 Unternehmen in der Stichprobe der Fall war“ (S. 61).

General investment research

Bad PERE: Persistently Poor Performance in Private Equity Real Estate by Da Li and Timothy J. Riddiough as of May 14th, 2023 (#629): “We compare Buyout (BO), Venture Capital (VC), and Private Equity Real Estate (RE) funds. RE funds underperform BO and VC, as well as the public market alternative. In RE, worse-performing fund managers survive at a high rate. They are also susceptible to diseconomies of fund scale, with no skill-based persistence to offset the negative scale effects. Analysis of noisy fund manager selection indicates that RE investors are not disadvantaged relative to BO and VC. LP investors in RE funds seem to be optimizing something other than, or in addition to, investment return when selecting fund managers” (abstract).

Good gold? The Safe Asset Shortage Conundrum and Why Gold is a Safe Asset by Dirk G. Baur as of April 19th, 2023 (#29): “This paper demonstrates that gold is a safe asset based on existing definitions, central bank holdings, history, and risk characteristics such as default risk and currency risk. Changes in the safe asset pool during the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath led to a safe asset triage that potentially led to the inclusion of gold in the safe asset pool. This is evident in the weakly symmetric opposite movements of gold and US government bond prices since 2008 and also in an increasing correlation especially since 2008. A simple safe asset test that analyzes whether a supposedly “safe asset” can be sold without a loss over different investment horizons or holding periods shows that gold is indeed relatively safe when compared with US government bonds. Finally, we also argue that the “safe asset shortage” is not a “natural” shortage but caused by central bank “QE” asset purchasing programs rendering this shortage rather narrow“ (p. 8).

Easy outperformance: Beating the S&P 500 at Its Own Game – The triumph of the equally weighted index by John Rekenthaler from Morningstar as of May 15th, 2023: “… only 19 equally weighted U.S. equity funds of any flavor currently exist, and none except for Invesco’s funds possess significant assets … Since summer 1998 … a costless version of the equally weighted S&P 500 portfolio has thrashed the conventional index … Half the equally weighted portfolio is invested in firms with market caps exceeding $30 billion. But the comparable figure for the customary S&P 500 is $150 billion”. My comment: I use equal weight for all my direct equity model portfolios and my fund since many yearsm see e.g. Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (

Correlation criticism: Co-Occurrence: A New Perspective on Portfolio Diversification by William Kinlaw, Mark Kritzman, and David Turkington as of May17th, 2023 (#25): “Investors typically measure an asset’s potential to diversify a portfolio by its correlations with the portfolio’s other assets, but correlation is useful only if it provides a good estimate of how an asset’s returns co-occur cumulatively with the other asset returns over the investor’s prospective horizon. And because correlation is an average of sub-period co-occurrences, it only serves as a good estimate of prospective co-occurrence if the assets’ returns are multi-variate normal, which requires them to be independent and identically distributed. The authors provide evidence that correlations differ depending on the return interval used to estimate them, which indicates they are not serially independent. Moreover, the authors show that asset co-movement differs between regimes of high and low interest rates and between turbulent and quiescent markets, and that they are asymmetric around return thresholds, which indicates that returns are not identically distributed. These departures from multi-variate normality cast serious doubt on the usefulness of full-sample correlations to measure an asset’s potential to diversify a portfolio. The authors propose an alternative technique for diversifying a portfolio that explicitly considers the empirical prevalence of co-occurrences and thus the non-normality of returns“ (abstract).

Tail risks: Equity Tail Protection Strategies Before, During, and After COVID by Roni Israelov and David Nze Ndong as of May 10th, 2023 (#124): “We investigate three common, yet different approaches to hedging equity drawdowns and a few themes emerge. First, hedging is expensive. … Second, the variable equity exposure embedded in option strategies is a source of risk and path dependence. … Third (and related to the previous point), a hedger’s decision on whether to delta-hedge their option exposure to isolate the option convexity or to maintain an unhedged position materially impacts performance in non-forecastable ways. …. Finally, there is enormous dispersion in the performance of tail risk hedging strategies. Well-reasoned arguments can be made in favor or against any number of decisions on how to implement a tail risk hedge. We only considered a few strategies (long options hedged or unhedged, long put protection, and long VIX futures) and the dispersion in outcomes is notable … those who implement hedging solutions should plan for the possibility – as remote as it might be – that their hedges make things worse in times of stress“ (p. 11/12).

Invest-Tech research (Climate reporting)

Robo-risks: Demystifying Consumer-Facing Fintech: Accountability for Automated Advice Tools by Jeannie Paterson, Tim Miller, and Henrietta Lyons as of May 10th, 2023 (#12): “Currently, the most prominent forms of fintech available to consumers are automated advice tools for investing and budgeting. These tools offer advantages of low cost, convenient and consistent advice on matters consumers often find difficult. … the oft-stated aspiration … should not distract attention from their potential to provide only a marginally useful service, while extracting consumer data and perpetuating the exclusion of some consumer cohorts from adequate access to credit and banking. … Fintech tools that hold out to consumers a promise of expertise and assistance should genuinely be fit for purpose. Consumers are unlikely to be able to monitor this quality themselves …“ (p. 15/16).

AI Advantage? Can ChatGPT Forecast Stock Price Movements? Return Predictability and Large Language Models by Alejandro Lopez-Lira and Yuehua Tang as of May 12th, 2023 (#32759): “We use ChatGPT to indicate whether a given headline is good, bad, or irrelevant news for firms’ stock prices. We then compute a numerical score and document a positive correlation between these “ChatGPT scores” and subsequent daily stock market returns. Further, ChatGPT outperforms traditional sentiment analysis methods. … Our results suggest that incorporating advanced language models into the investment decision-making process can yield more accurate predictions and enhance the performance of quantitative trading strategies. Predictability is concentrated on smaller stocks and more prominent on firms with bad news, consistent with limits-to-arbitrage arguments rather than market inefficiencies“ (abstract).


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Taxing or nudging with a tram picture by Rudy and Peter Skitterians and Pixabay

Taxing or nudging? Researchpost #122

Taxing or nudging: 10x new research on wealth taxes, climate nudges, ESG data, buybacks, private equity, GPT and visuals

Social and ecological research: Taxing or nudging?

Efficient taxes: Does a Progressive Wealth Tax Reduce Top Wealth Inequality? Evidence from Switzerland by Samira Marti, Isabel Martínez, and Florian Scheuer as of March 21st, 2023 (#7): “Like in many other countries, wealth inequality has increased in Switzerland over the last fifty years. By providing new evidence on cantonal top wealth shares for each of the 26 cantons since 1969, we show that the overall trend masks striking differences across cantons, both in levels and trends. … Our results imply that a reduction in the top marginal wealth tax rate by 0.1 percentage points in-creases the top 1% (0.1%) wealth share by 0.9 (1.2) percentage points five years after the reform. This suggests that wealth tax cuts over the last 50 years explain roughly 18% (25%) of the increase in wealth concentration among the top 1% (0.1%)” (abstract).

Bad luxury: Taxing luxury emissions by Clinton G. Wallace and Shelley Welton as of March 14th, 2023 (#36): “A host of recent economic and sociological studies have documented the rising challenge of carbon inequality … These disparities are driven by “luxury emissions” produced by the carbon-intensive lifestyles of the rich, which too often include private jets, mega-SUVs, yachts, and multiple mansions. … we explore how to design a carbon tax to target luxury emissions, considering potential tax bases, rates, and revenue uses“ (abstract).

Climate nudging: Can social comparisons and moral appeals increase public transport ridership and decrease car use? By Johannes Gessner, Wolfgang Habla, and Ulrich J. Wagner as of Feb. 8th, 2023 (#17): “Explanations for why social comparisons fail to achieve the desired effects in our setting include (i) boomerang effects … (ii) disregard of how other people, in particular colleagues, travel, (iii) strong habits that are difficult to change … By contrast, we do find evidence that combining a social comparison with a moral appeal, framed in the context of climate change, significantly altered mobility…. Specifically, it decreased car-related mobility expenditures and frequency of use, particularly mostly for taxis and other ride-hailing and ride-sharing services. It increased expenditures on micromobility but not on public transport. Total expenditures did not change significantly” (p. 30).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my article 9 mutual fund. The fund focuses on social SDGs and midcaps, uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement. The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. see this free new tool, and the performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T, see also Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (

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Molehills as picture for green cover investments

Green cover investments: Researchpost #120

Green cover investments: 10x new research on carbon offset accounting, green cover and fading green investments, greenium, divestment criticism, SDG benchmarks, and real estate inflation risk

Ecological research

Offset-Accounting: Accounting for carbon offsets – Establishing the foundation for carbon-trading markets by Robert S. Kaplan, Karthik Ramanna, and Marc Roston as of Feb. 28th, 2023 (#198): “Tackling climate change requires not only reducing GHG emissions but also removing GHG from the atmosphere. … But existing carbon-offset markets have been criticized for poor measurement practices and inadequate controls, resulting in transaction of products that do not materially sequester carbon. … we apply basic financial-accounting principles to develop an accurate and auditable framework for offset accounting. … rigorous accounting for emissions and offsets can improve and expand markets for impactful decarbonization” (abstract).

Responsible investment research: Green cover investments

Green cover investments? Do Investors Compensate for Unsustainable Consumption Using Sustainable Assets? by Emily Kormanyos as of Feb. 28th, 2023 (#61): “… high-footprint consumers seem to understand the environmental impacts of their consumption patterns, and aim to offset them by investing specifically in securities which have extremely low-emission profiles. I present additional evidence that investors use only these specific securities to offset their carbon-based emissions, whereas portfolios with high general ESG ratings do not exhibit such a relation to unsustainable consumption. … I show that Catholicism, historically tied to financial offsetting practices through the 15th and 16th-century letters of indulgence, is significantly and positively related to the sustainability profile of retail investor portfolios … Finally, I conduct a survey with 3,646 clients of the same bank that provided the administrative data analyzed in this paper, finding that the majority of investors underestimate their own carbon footprints from consumption. This underestimation increases systematically in the size of the survey participants’ real footprints …”  (p. 45/56).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my article 9 mutual fund. The fund focuses on social SDGs and midcaps, uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement. The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. see this free new tool, and the performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T, see also Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (

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Critical ESG illustration with stethoscope on money picture by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Critical ESG and more: Researchposting 118

Critical ESG: 11x new research on tax avoidance, ESG deficits, corporate governance, green monetary policy, climate transition investing, shareholder engagement, inequality, factor investments, listed real estate, and ChatGPT by Alex Edmans, David Larcker, Martin Hoesli et al.

Unsocial multinationals: Global profit shifting, 1975–2019 by Ludvig Wier and Gabriel Zucman as of Nov. 29th, 2022 (#11): “This paper constructs time series of global profit shifting covering the 2015–19 period, during which major international efforts were implemented to curb profit shifting. We find that (i) multinational profits grew faster than global profits, (ii) the share of multinational profits booked in tax havens remained constant at around 37 per cent, and (iii) the fraction of global corporate tax revenue lost due to profit shifting rose from 9 to 10 per cent. We extend our time series back to 1975 and document a remarkable increase of multinational profits and global profit shifting from 1975 to 2019”. My comment: To strenghten communities (stakeholders), the reduction of profit shifting should be an attractive topic for shareholder ESG engagement

ESG investment research: Critical ESG

10 critical ESG theses: Applying Economics – Not Gut Feel – To ESG by Alex Edmans as of Feb. 21st, 2023 (#2754): “I identify how conventional thinking on ten key ESG issues is overturned when applying the insights of mainstream economics” (abstract): “1. Shareholder Value is Short-Termist (No, shareholder value is a long-term concept). 2. Shareholder Primacy Leads to an Exclusive Focus on Shareholder Value (No, shareholders have objectives other than shareholder value). 3. Sustainability Risks Increase the Cost of Capital (No, sustainability risks lower expected cash flows). 4. Sustainable Stocks Earn Higher Returns (No, sustainability may be priced in; tastes for sustainable stocks lead to lower returns). 5. Climate Risk is Investment Risk (No, climate risk is an unpriced externality). 6. A Company’s ESG Metrics Capture Its Impact on Society (No, partial equilibrium differs from general equilibrium). 7. More ESG Is Always Better (No, ESG exhibits diminishing returns and trade-offs exist). 8. More Investor Engagement Is Always Better (No, investors may be uninformed or undermine managerial initiative). 9. You Improve ESG Performance By Paying For ESG Performance (No, paying for some ESG dimensions will cause firms to underweight others). 10. Market Failures Justify Regulatory Intervention (No, regulatory intervention is only justified when market failure exceeds regulatory failure)“ (p. 4). My comment: I don’t detect any contradictions regarding my approach to invest as sustainable as possible considering exclusions, ESG and SDG factors and engagement, see e.g. Artikel 9 Fonds: Sind 50% Turnover ok? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my article 9 mutual fund. The fund focuses on social SDGs and midcaps, uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement. The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. see this free new tool, and the performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T

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Unsustainable Bonds: Naturbild von Andres Dressler zur Illustration

Unsustainable bonds? Researchposting 102

Unsustainable bonds? 20x new research on climate risk, real estate, health, Trump, carbon credits, CDS, bank loans, bonds, interest rates, ESG indexing, pensions, gender, infrastructure, private equity, investment apps, ESG fintechs, climate AI by Roland Fuess, Tabea Bucher-Koenen, Paul Pudschedl, Markus Leippold et al.

Social and Ecological Research: Unsustainable bonds?

Longer hot: 800,000 Years of Climate Risk by Tobias Adrian, Nina Boyarchenko, Domenico Giannone,  Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Dulani Seneviratne, and Yanzhe Xiao as of September 9th, 2022 (#22): “… we study how climate evolves over the past 800,000 years … We find that the temperature-CO2 dynamics are non-linear, so that large deviations in either temperature or CO2 concentrations take a long time to correct … even conditional on the net-zero 2050 scenario, there remains a significant risk of elevated temperatures for at least a further five millennia” (p. 26/27).

Reduce green incentives? The Low-Carbon Rent Premium of Residential Buildings by Angelika Brändle, Roland Füss, Jörg Schläpfer, and Alois Weigand as of September 22nd, 2022 (#53): “The operation of residential real estate accounts for a large part of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions …. we analyze 39,791 rental contracts from 2,438 residential properties in the Switzerland … our results suggest that apartments in low-carbon buildings have higher net rents compared to dwellings which emit more carbon emissions. … the higher willingness-to-pay for low-carbon housing is not decisively driven by a tenant’s higher preference for living in an environmentally-friendly apartment. … based on capitalization rates from 432 transactions, we suggest that the market value is on average higher for carbon neutral apartment properties due to lower expected risk premiums. … incentive structures for sustainable housing have to be carefully evaluated by policy makers as higher market values of low-carbon buildings compensate investors for cutting CO2 emissions” (p. 17/18).

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ESG regulation: Das Bild von Thomas Hartmann zeigt Blumen in Celle

ESG regulation and more (Researchblog #101)

ESG regulation: >15x new research on climate, regulation, (un)sustainable funds, SDGs, greenium, ESG reporting, voting, wealth, buy-and-hold, private equity, private real estate and AI by Roman Inderst, Andreas Hoepner et al.

Ecological and social and governance research: ESG regulation

Climate-heuristics: Harnessing the power of communication and behavior science to enhance society’s response to climate change: A white paper for comment by Edward Maibach, Sri Saahitya Uppalapati, Margaret Orr, and Jagadish Thaker as of October 5th, 2022 (#181): “… we provide an evidence-based heuristic for guiding efforts to share science-based information about climate change with decisionmakers and the public at large. … We .. also provide a second evidence-based heuristic for helping people and organizations to change their climate change-relevant behaviors, should they decide to. These two guiding heuristics can help scientists and other to harness the power of communication and behavior science in service of enhancing society’s response to climate change” (abstract).

Advert for German investors: “Sponsor” my free research e.g. by buying my Article 9 fund. The minimum investment is around EUR 50. FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T: I focus on social SDGs and midcaps and use best-in-universe as well as separate E, S and G minimum ratings.

For my approach to this blog see 100 research blogposts since 2018 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

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Picture of a tree as symbol for the title stewardship

Stewardship etc. (Researchblog #100)

Stewardship: >20x new research on inequality, biodiversity, ESG incidents, carbon credits and indexing, greenium, stewardship, gender, social taxonomy, withdrawals and art investing by authors such as Florian Berg, Laurens Swinkels and many more

Social and Ecological Research: Stewardship

Arguments for climate action: ‚It Makes No Difference What We Do‘: Climate Change and the Ethics of Collective Action by Jonathan Crowe as of Oct. 5th, 2022 (#7): “It has become progressively more difficult to deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change as the scientific evidence has mounted …. Those who are opposed to such action sometimes justify their stance by suggesting that even though climate change is real and dangerous, there is no obligation to do anything further about it, because this would be futile … I argued that (1) everyone has a duty to do their share for the global common good, which entails combating climate change; (2) even micro-contributions to climate change plausibly create a moral responsibility to counteract their effects; (3) in any case, we would still have a duty to combat climate change even if, contrary to the evidence, this made no difference whatsoever to the outcome; (4) this result can be explained by appealing to the fact that not doing one’s share constitutes a kind of individual and collective self-harm” (p. 13). My comment: This is in line with my approach, see e.g. Absolute and Relative Impact Investing and additionality – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

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Heidebild als Illustration für Proven Impact Investing

Proven Impact Investing? (Researchblog #97)

Proven impact investing: >10x new research on work, midlifes, climate impact, ESG reporting, impact investments, engagement, indexing, client advisors, risk measurement, real estate, fractional shares, stablecoins

Ecological and social research

More homework: Working from home around the world by Cevat Giray Aksoy, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Mathias Dolls, and Pablo Zarate as of September 19, 2022 (#13): “… we survey full-time workers who finished primary school in 27 countries as of mid 2021 and early 2022. … first, that WFH averages 1.5 days per week in our sample, ranging widely across countries. Second, employers plan an average of 0.7 WFH days per week after the pandemic, but workers want 1.7 days. Third, employees value the option to WFH 2-3 days per week at 5 percent of pay … employer plans for WFH levels after the pandemic rise strongly with WFH productivity surprises during the pandemic” (abstract).

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