Archiv der Kategorie: Politik

Healthcare IT: Illustration from Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Healthcare IT and more new research: Researchpost #166

Healthcare IT: 17x new research on climate profits, biodiversity, carbon policy, noisiness, brown subsidies, child marriages, diversity returns, ESG ratings, climate measures, index pollution, impact funds, engagement returns, green research, green real estate, green ECB (# shows number of SSRN full paper downloads as of March 7th, 2024).

Ecological research (in: Healthcare IT)

Climate adaption profits? Fiscal Implications of Global Decarbonization by Simon Black, Ruud de Mooij, Vitor Gaspar, Ian Parry, and Karlygash Zhunussova from the International Monetary Fund as of March 7th, 2024 (#2): “The quantitative impact on fiscal revenues for countries depends on the balance between rising carbon revenue and a gradual erosion of existing carbon and fuel tax bases. Public spending rises during the transition to build green public infrastructure, promote innovation, support clean technology deployment, and compensate households and firms. Assumptions about the size of these spending needs are speculative and estimates vary with country characteristics (especially the emissions intensity of the energy sector) and policy choices (whether investments are funded through user fees or taxes for the sector or by the general budget). On balance, the paper finds that the global decarbonization scenario will likely have moderately negative implications for fiscal balances in advanced European countries. Effects are more likely to be positive for the US and Japan if public spending is contained. For middle and low-income countries, net fiscal impacts are generally positive and sometimes significantly so—mostly due to relatively buoyant revenue effects from carbon pricing that exceed spending increases. For low-income countries, these effects are reinforced if a portion of the global revenue from carbon pricing is shared across countries on a per-capita basis. Thus, a global agreement on mitigation policy has the potential to support the global development agenda” (p. 26).

Green productivity? The impact of climate change and policies on productivity by Gert Bijnens and many more from the European Central Bank as of Feb. 28th, 2024 (#26): “The impact of rising temperatures on labour productivity is likely to be positive for Northern European countries but negative for Southern European countries. Meanwhile, extreme weather events, having an almost entirely negative impact on output and productivity, are likely to have a relatively higher impact on Southern Europe. … The impact of climate policies on resource reallocation across sectors is likely negative, as the more carbon-intensive sectors are currently more productive than the sectors that are expected to grow due to the green transition. … Smaller firms that have a harder time in securing finance and less experience in creating or adapting new innovations may initially face challenges and see a decline in their productivity growth. However, their productivity outlook improves as they gradually adjust and gain access to support mechanisms, such as financial assistance and technological expertise. … Market-based instruments, like carbon taxes, are not enough in themselves to spur investment in green innovation and productivity growth. As others have found, the green transition also calls for an increase in green R&D efforts and non-market policies such as standards and regulations, where carbon pricing is less adequate. … In conclusion, while shifting towards a greener economy can lead to temporary declines in labour productivity in the shorter term, it could yield several long-term productivity benefits“ (p. 60/61).

Biodiversity degrowth: Biodiversity Risks and Corporate Investment by Hai Hong Trinh as of Oct. 1st, 2023 (#188): “I document a strong adverse association between corporate investment and biodiversity risks (BDR) …. More importantly, in line with the life-cycle theory, the relation is pronounced for larger and more mature firms, suggesting that firms with less growth opportunities care more about climate-induced risks, BDR exposures in this case. When environmental policies become more stringer for climate actions, the study empirically supports the rationale that climate-induced uncertainty can depress capital expenditure due to investment irreversibility, causing precautionary delays for firms”.

“Good” carbon policies: Carbon Policy Design and Distributional Impacts: What does the research tell us? by Lynn Riggs as of Sept. 21st, 2023 (#15): “There are two main veins of literature examining the distributional effects of carbon policy: the effects on households and the effects on production sectors (i.e., employment). These literatures have generally arisen from two common arguments against carbon policies – that these polices disproportionately affect lower income households and that the overall effect on jobs and businesses will be negative. However, existing research finds that well-designed carbon policies are consistent with growth, development, and poverty reduction, and both literatures provide guidance for policy design in this regard” (abstract).

Social research (in: Healthcare IT)

Costly noise: The Price of Quietness: How a Pandemic Affects City Dwellers’ Response to Road Traffic Noise by Yao-pei Wang, Yong Tu, and Yi Fan as of July 15th, 2023 (#44): “We find that housing units with more exposure to road traffic noise have an additional rent discount of 8.3% and that tenants are willing to pay an additional rent premium for quieter housing units after the pandemic. We demonstrate that the policies implemented to keep social distance like WFH (Sö: working from home) and digitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic have enhanced people’s requirement for quietness. We expect these changes to persist and have long-lasting implications on residents’ health and well-being …” (p. 25/26).

Ungreen inequality subsidies? Do Commuting Subsidies Drive Workers to Better Firms? by David R. Agrawal, Elke J. Jahn, Eckhard Janeba as of March 5th, 2024 (#5): „Increases in the generosity of commuting subsidies induce workers to switch to higher-paying jobs with longer commutes. Although increases in commuting subsidies generally induce workers to switch to employers that pay higher wages, commuting subsidies also enhance positive assortativity in the labor market by better matching high-ability workers to higher-productivity plants. Greater assortativity induced by commuting subsidies corresponds to greater earnings inequality” (abstract).

Polluted marriages: Marriages in the shadow of climate vulnerability by Jaykumar Bhongale and Oishik Bhattacharya as of May 15th, 2023 (#26): “We discover that girls and women are more likely to get married in the year of or the year after the heat waves. The relationship is highest for women between the ages of 18 and 23, and weakest for those between the ages of 11 and 14. We also investigate the idea that severe weather influences families to accept less suitable daughter marriage proposals. We discover that people who get married in extremely hot weather typically end up with less educated men and poorer families. Similarly to this, men with less education who married during unusually dry years are supportive of partner violence more than other married men married in normal seasons of the year. These findings collectively imply that families who experience environmental shocks adapt by hastening the marriage of daughters or by settling for less ideal marriage offers “ (abstract).

Diversity returns: Diversity and Stock Market Outcomes: Thank you Different! by Yosef Bonaparte as of Feb. 9th, 2024 (#30): “… we gather data from 68 countries on key financial results and their level of diversity. We define diversity via four dimensions: ethnicity, language, religion, and gender. … our results demonstrate that the impact of diversity components on the stock market varies, yet overall, the greater the level of diversity the greater the stock market performance, and there is no volatility associated with this high return. In fact, we present some evidence that the overall volatility declines as diversity increases. To sum up, diverse culture is better equipped to understand and serve diverse consumer markets, thereby expanding the potential customer base. This inclusive approach not only reflects social responsibility but also aligns with economic advantages, as it results in improved corporate governance, risk management, and overall corporate performance“ (p. 15).

ESG investment research

ESG rating issues: Unpacking the ESG Ratings: Does One Size Fit All? by Monica Billio, Aoife Claire Fitzpatrick, Carmelo Latino, and Loriana Pelizzon as of March 1st, 2024 (#70): “In this study, we unpack the ESG ratings of four prominent agencies in Europe …” (abstract) … “First, using correlation analysis we show that each E, S, and G pillar contributes differently to the overall ESG rating. … the Environmental pillar consistently plays a significant role in explaining ESG ratings across all agencies … When analysing the intra-correlations of the E, S and G pillar we find a low correlation between the three E, S, and G pillars. An interesting accounting methodology emerges from RobecoSAM which exhibits notably high intra-correlations. This prompts us to raise questions about the validity of relying exclusively on survey data for calculating ESG ratings as RobecoSAM does. … the Governance pillar displayed the highest divergence across all years, followed by Social, Environmental and finally ESG. … Finally, our study on the main drivers of ESG ratings reveals that having an external auditor, an environmental supply chain policy, climate change commercial risks opportunities and target emissions improves ratings across all agencies, further emphasizing the importance of firms’ environmental strategies“ (p. 12/13). My comment: Unterschiedliche ESG-Ratings: Tipps für Anleger | CAPinside

Pro intensity measures: Greenness and its Discontents: Operational Implications of Investor Pressure by Nilsu Uzunlar, Alan Scheller-Wolf, and Sridhar Tayur as of Feb. 28th, 2024 (#23): “… We explore two prominent environmental metrics that have been proposed for carbon emissions: an absolute-based target for absolute emissions and an intensity-based target for emission intensity. … we observe that, for high-emission companies, an intensity-based target increases the producer’s expected profit, leading to less divestment compared to the absolute-based target. We also find that the intensity-based target is more likely to facilitate investments in increased efficiency than the absolute-based target“ (abstract).

Index-hugging pollution? Reducing the Carbon Footprint of an Index: How Low Can You Go? by Paul Bouchey, Martin de Leon, Zeeshan Jawaid, and Vassilii Nemtchinov as of Feb. 13th, 2024 (#31): “… The authors find that an investor may be able to reduce the carbon footprint of a typical index-based portfolio by more than 50%, while keeping active risk low, near 1% tracking error volatility. … We study the effects of constraints on the optimization problem and find that loosening sector and industry constraints enables a greater reduction in carbon emissions, without a significant increase in overall active risk. Specifically, underweights to Utilities, Energy, and Materials allow for a greater reduction in carbon emissions” (abstract). My comment: The Carbon footprint can be reduced much more by avoiding significant emitters altogether. Index deviation will increase in that case, but not necessarily relevant risk indicators such as drawdowns or volatility, see also 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need (

SDG and impact investment research (in: Healthcare IT)

Better sustainability measure: Methodology for Eurosif Market Studies on Sustainability-related Investments by Timo Busch, Eric Pruessner, Will Oulton, Aleksandra Palinska, and Pierre Garrault from University Hamburg, Eurosif, and AIR as of February 2024: “Past market studies on sustainability-related investments typically gathered data on a range of different sustainability-related investment approaches and aggregated them to one of a number of “sustainable investments”. However, these statistics did not differentiate between investments based on their investment strategy and/or objectives to actively support the transition towards a more sustainable economy. The methodology presented in this paper aims to reflect current approaches to sustainability-related investment across Europe more accurately. It introduces four distinct categories of sustainability-related investments that reflect the investments’ ambition level to actively contribute to the transition towards a more just and sustainable economy … Two core features of the proposed approach are that it applies to all asset classes and that investments only qualify as one of the four categories if they implement binding ESG- or impact related criteria in their investment process. The methodology will serve as a basis for future market studies conducted by Eurosif in cooperation with its members“ (p. 2). My comment: I like the four categories Basic ESG, Advanced ESG, Impact-Aligned and Impact-Generating. For further details regarding impact generation see also DVFA-Leifaden_Impact_2023-10.pdf. The “Leitfaden” is now also available in English (not online yet, though)

Engagement returns: Value of Shareholder Environmental Activism: Case Engine No. 1 by Jennifer Brodmann, Ashrafee T Hossain, Abdullah-Al Masum, and Meghna Singhvi as of Feb. 13th, 2024 (#20): “We observe short-term market reactions to S&P100 index constituents around two subsequent events involving Engine No. 1 – an environment activist investment firm: first, they won board seats at ExxonMobil (the top non-renewable energy producer) on May 26, 2021; and second, on June 2, 2021, they announced their plan to float Transform-500-ETF (an ETF targeting to ensure green corporate policies) in the market. We find that the market reacts significantly positively towards the stocks of the firms with more serious environmental (and emission) concerns around each of these two events. Overall, our findings suggest that a positive move by the environment activist shareholders results in an incremental favorable equity market reaction benefitting the polluting firms. … we posit that this reaction may be a product of market anticipation of a future reduction in environmental (and emission) concerns following the involvement of green investors” (abstract).

Bundled green knowledge: Wissensplattform Nachhaltige Finanzwirtschaft by Patrick Weltin vom VfU as of February 2024: “The final report summarizes the key findings of the Knowledge Platform for Sustainable Finance project. The research project is helping to increase understanding of sustainable finance among various key stakeholders. In addition to policymakers, financial market players, the real economy and civil society, these include employees in the financial sector, in particular trainees, young professionals and students. The final report summarizes and presents the key results of the work packages and possible overarching findings” (p. 5). My comment: I offered the VfU to discuss about a potential inclusion of my research summaries, but I did not get a reply.

Greener real estate: Finanzierung von energetischen Gebäudesanierungen Eine kritische Analyse unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Sustainable Finance-Regulierung der Europäischen Union von Tobias Popovic und Jessica Reichard-Chahine vom Februar 2024: “Financing of energy-efficient building renovations: … At 1 percent per year, the renovation rates in the building stock in Germany are significantly below the 2-4 percent that would be necessary to achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement as well as those of the EU and the German government. The too low renovation rates, the insufficient renovation quality and the associated sluggish standardisation are due to various obstacles, such as a lack of data on the energy status of buildings, a lack of renovation and financial knowledge on the part of building owners and users, a lack of renovation incentives and, last but not least, the lack of availability of appropriate financing and insurance products. … On the market side .. there is still a need for the development of innovative financing instruments …” (p. 5).

Healthcare-IT potential: Next Health – a new way to navigate the healthcare ecosystem by Karin Frick, David Bosshart and Stefan Brei as of Nov. 7th, 2023 (Deutsch; Francais #27): “Human and artificial intelligence working together have the potential to significantly increase quality in both medicine and productivity, thereby reducing costs. … The more cooperative the approach to data sharing, the greater the amount and quality of data available in the system, and the better the results. These developments will also change the position of patients in the healthcare system and how they see their role. The more frequently they come into contact with the healthcare system while they are healthy, the more their behaviour will come to resemble that of consumers. Even the hierarchical distance between doctor and patient will shrink or perhaps even disappear completely, for the simple reason that both parties will be taking advice from smart assistants when making decisions“ (p. 2). My comment: About a third of my small cap SDG fund is now invested in healthcare companies. With Nexus from Germany and Pro Medicus from Australia there are two healthcare IT companies in my mutual fund. For further information on Medtech also see What to expect from medtech in 2024 by Karsten Dalgaard, Gerti Pellumbi, Peter Pfeiffer, and Tommy Reid from McKinsey.

Other investment research (in: Healthcare IT)

ECB for green? Legitimising green monetary policies: market liberalism, layered central banking, and the ECB’s ongoing discursive shift from environmental risks to price stability by Nicolás Aguila and Joscha Wullweber as of Feb. 17th, 2024: “Through the analysis of ECB Executive Board member speeches, we have identified three main narratives about the consequences of the environmental crisis in the monetary authority’s spheres of influence: The first emphasises environmental phenomena as financial risks; the second highlights the green investment or financing gap; and the third focuses on the impacts of climate change on price stability. … We show that the third narrative is displacing the first as the dominant discourse around ECB climate policy. The shift in focus from the central bank’s duties to maintain financial stability to its responsibilities regarding price stability under the primary mandate could lead to far-reaching green monetary policies” (abstract).


Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small cap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 26 of 30 companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or My fund (

ESG Bluff: Picture from pixabay by May Leroy shows dices etc.

ESG bluff? Researchpost #164

ESG bluff: 10x new research on Swiss/sustainable retail, lab meat, Weimar politics, sustainable women, SDG financial research, green funds, real estate ESG, free trading governance effects and bond factors (#shows the number of SSRN full paper downloads as of February 22nd, 2024)

Social and ecological research (in: ESG bluff?)

Sustainable retail (English version below): Ausgebummelt – Wege des Handels aus der Spass- und Sinnkrise by Gianluca Scheidegger, Johannes Bauer, and Jan Bieser as of Dec. 7th, 2023 (#21): „Die Zeit wird neu verteilt: Was keine Freude oder Sinn stiftet, wird gestrichen … Nachhaltiger Konsum gewinnt an Bedeutung … Umfassend informiert: KI erleichtert die Produktsuche für Konsument:innen …Auf einer Linie: Persönliche Werte werden bei der Produkt- und Händlerwahl entscheidend: Purpose-driven Consumers sind die weltweit größte Kundengruppe. Tendenz steigend. Diese Kund:innen kaufen nur bei Firmen ein, die ihre Werte teilen. Die Konsument:innen erwarten in Zukunft mehr von den Unternehmen. Händler müssen Stellung zu gesellschaftlichen Problemen beziehen und aktiv zu ihrer Lösung beitragen. Die gute Nachricht ist: Die Menschen trauen dies den Unternehmen zu. Jedem Kanal seine Rolle: Transaktion primär online, Inspiration eher offline. Schnell und nachhaltig: … Händler, die beide Ansprüche unter einen Hut bekommen, verschaffen sich einen klaren Wettbewerbsvorteil“ (p. 84).

Sustainable retail (German version above): Going shopping is dead – How to Restore Meaning and Fun in Retail by Gianluca Scheidegger, Johannes Bauer and Jan Bieser as of Dec. 4th, 2023 (#17): “Time is being reallocated: what’s not fun or meaningful will be crossed off the schedule … Sustainable consumption is gaining in importance Overconsumption has a massive impact on the environment. … Fully informed: AI facilitates consumers’ searches for products … In aligment: personal values becoming decisive in choosing products and retailers Purpose-driven consumers are the largest customer group worldwide. This trend is rising. These customers only buy from companies that share their values. Consumers will expect more from companies in the future. Retailers must take a stand on social problems and actively contribute to solving them. The good news is that people trust companies to do this. Each channel has its role: transactions primarily online, inspiration mostly offline … Fast and sustainable: delivery under greater scrutiny … The fastest form of delivery is often not the most sustainable. Retailers who can reconcile both requirements gain a clear competitive advantage“ (p. 84).

Lab meat: Good conscience from the lab? The State of Acceptance for Cultivated Meat by Christine Schäfer, Petra Tipaldi and Johannes C. Bauer as of Jan. 8th, 2024 (#12; German version: Gutes Gewissen aus dem Labor? So steht es um die Akzeptanz von kultiviertem Fleisch by Christine Schäfer, Petra Tipaldi, Johannes Bauer :: SSRN, #26): “Lab-grown meat instead of beef fillet, cell-cultured patties instead of burgers – for many Swiss people this sounds far from appetising. A mere 20% would even try cultivated meat, whilst 15% remain undecided. … The Swiss population is also sceptical about other kinds of novel foods, such as insects or coffee made from mushrooms. There are, however, customer groups who may be more inclined to tuck into a steaming plate of crispy lab-grown schnitzel: They are young, male, educated, mainly live in the city, already have experience with a particular diet, such as vegetarian or low carb, and know a lot about sustainable food. … Lab-grown meat is one such example of a novel food. It is cultivated from stem cells in a bioreactor and has many advantages, namely that factory farming and the use of antibiotics are all but eliminated, less space and water is needed for production, no rainforests need to be cut down to cultivate animal feed and the combination of nutrients in the meat can be adapted to specific target groups. But there are risks …. the production facilities needed eat up enormous amounts of energy … Lab-grown meat is still hard to find on the market. Customers can only taste chicken derived from cellular agriculture in a few restaurants in Singapore and the USA at the moment. As yet, it has not been approved anywhere in Europe“ (p. 2). My comment: I am skeptical about the ecological footprint and market potential of lab meat compared to plant-based meat alternatives.

Sustainable women: Sustainable leadership among financial managers in Spain: a gender issue by Elena Bulmer, Iván Zamarrón, and Benito Yáñez-Araque as of Dec. 29th, 2023 (#13): “A total of 131 senior financial managers (106 men and 25 women), from various sectors in Spanish companies (a multi-sector study), responded to two scales: the Honeybee Sustainable Leadership Scale (focusing on stakeholder orientation and a vision of social and shared leadership) and the Locust Leadership Scale (primarily centered on achieving short-term profits at any cost). … The main finding was that female financial managers scored significantly higher on the Honeybee Leadership Scale compared to their male counterparts, signifying that female presence is key to sustainable leadership” (abstract).

Deglobalization effect? The consequences of a trade collapse: Economics and politics in Weimar Germany by Björn Brey and Giovanni Facchini as of Jan. 17th, 2024 (#18): “What are the political consequences of de-globalization? We address this question in the context of Weimar Germany, which experienced a 67% decline in exports between 1928-1932. During this period, the Nazi party vote share increased from 3% to 37%. … we show that this surge was not driven by the direct effects of the export decline in manufacturing areas. At the same time, trade shock-induced declines in food prices spread economic hardship to rural hinterlands. We document that this indirect effect and the pro-agriculture policies put forward by the Nazis are instead key to explain their electoral success” (abstract).

Responsible investment research (in. ESG bluff?)

SDG research: Finance Research and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – an analysis and forward look by Yang Sua, Brian M. Lucey, and Ashish Kumar Jha as of Feb. 13th, 2024 (#183): “This study conducts a comprehensive analysis of the interplay between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and scholarly output in financial journals from 2010 to 2022. … The findings demonstrate a focus within finance research on Economic Growth (Goal 8) and Peace and Justice (Goal 16), while also identifying areas that warrant further scholarly attention” (abstract). My comment: For mutual funds it seems to be easiest to focus on SDGs 3 (Health), 7 (Energy) and 9 (Industry/Infrastructure). That is my experience with a bottom-up stock selection approach, see “Nachhaltigkeitsreport”.

ESG bluff? Sustainable in Name Only? Does Bluffing or Impact Explain Success in a Moral Market? by Kevin Chuah and Witold Henisz as of Feb. 13th, 2024 (#16): “… US-domiciled equity-focused investment funds that are labeled as focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Although we find that product success in terms of investment inflows is more likely for funds with better ESG performance, the draw of larger fund operators and of superior financial returns remains substantial. We further segment our sample, finding that segments offering lower levels of ESG engagement achieve inflows that are unrelated to ESG performance, yet are a substantial part of the overall market. This suggests that bluffing by large product providers may undermine genuine attempts at social impact in moral markets“ (abstract). My comment: It certainly seems to help to grow fund assets to have huge marketing power and good returns, recently often based on high allocations to the glorious 7 which I do not consider to be very sustainable, see Glorreiche 7: Sind sie unsozial? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Green disadvantage? Carbon Risk Pricing or Climate Catering? The Impact of Morningstar’s Low Carbon Designation on Fund Performance by K. Stephen Haggard, Jeffrey S. Jones , H. Douglas Witte, and C. Edward Chang as of Jan. 18th, 2024 (#21): “Our results show insignificant performance differences between Low Carbon Designated (LCD) funds and non-LCD funds for the most recent (three-year) period. For longer periods of five and ten years, we observe excess performance only for the Sharpe and Sortino ratios, but not for Total Return or the Treynor ratio. … our results are consistent with a catering hypothesis of climate investing. Initially, investors seeking low-carbon investments bid up the prices of low-carbon stocks. Firms respond by seeking Low Carbon Designations, whether through real efforts or greenwashing. Once enough low-carbon stocks are available to meet the demand of the lowcarbon clientele, the premium associated with low carbon disappears“ (p. 17). My comment: If low LCD funds have similar performance as high carbon funds, why invest in the latter?

Green disadvantage? Doing Good and Doing Well: The Relationships between ESG and Stock Returns of REITs by Neo Jing Rui Dominic and Sing Tien Foo as of Jan. 29th, 2024 (#31): “Using a sample of 413 REITs from both the US and other developed countries covering the period from 2018 to 2022 …We find that REITs with an ESG rating have a lower price return of 0.8% relative to REITs not assessed for ESG. … The results show that the total returns of the ESG-rated REITs were even lower when the climate change risks increased, or more specifically, when investors became more salient about climate change news, they increased their preference for ESG-rated REITs, thus reducing the total return of REITs. … we find that higher compliance and operation costs for REITs with strong ESG agendas, which may come in the form of higher compensation for the Board and Senior Management, who take on more ESG responsibilities, may have a negative impact on the ESG-rated REIT stock performance“ (p. 19/20). My comment: The higher compensation for REIT Boards and Senior Management with the associated higher pay gap compared to median employee should be explored further. With my shareholder engagement strategy I try to alert regarding this issue, see Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – (

Retail anti-governance? Retail Investors and Corporate Governance: Evidence from Zero-Commission Trading by Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, and Yoon-Ho Alex Lee as of Feb. 9th, 2024 (#102): “We examine the effects of the sudden abolition of trading commissions by major online brokerages in 2019, which lowered stock market entry costs for retail investors, on corporate governance. … Firms with positive abnormal returns in response to commission-free trading subsequently saw a decrease in institutional ownership, a decrease in shareholder voting, and a deterioration in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics. Finally, these firms were more likely to adopt bylaw amendments to reduce the percentage of shares needed for a quorum at shareholder meetings” (abstract).

Other investment research (in: ESG bluff)

Few good bond factors: The Corporate Bond Factor Zoo by Alexander Dickerson, Christian Julliard, and Philippe Mueller as of Nov. 14th, 2023 (#1299): “We find that the majority of tradable factors designed to price corporate bonds are unlikely sources of priced risk, and that only one factor, capturing the post-earnings an-nouncement drift in corporate bonds, which has not been utilized in prior asset pricing models, should be included in any stochastic discount factor (SDF) with very high probability. Furthermore, we find that nontradable factors capturing inflation volatility risk … and the term structure yield spread … as well as the return on a broad based bond market index, are likely components of the SDF” (p. 37/38).


Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global smallcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 25 of 30 companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Neutral ESG shows illustration from Jannik Texler from Pixabay

Neutral ESG? Researchpost #160

Neutral ESG: 14x new research on migration gender topics, re-migration, AI, broadband, political ESG investments, ESG ratings, ESG alpha, ESG credit risk, greenium, anomalies, robo-advisors, private equity and finfluencers (# shows the number of SSRN full paper downloads as of Jan. 25th, 2024).

Social and ecological research (Neutral ESG)

Female migration disadvantages: Does Granting Refugee Status to Family-Reunified Women Improve Their Integration? by Linea Hasager as of Jan. 18th, 2024 (#4): “… I estimate the impact of recognizing women, who are initially admitted through family-reunification procedures, as refugees themselves. When they are recognized as refugees, they are able to divorce their husbands without automatically being returned to their origin countries. … I show that the divorce rate increases following asylum recognition. In addition, I document that the risk of being a victim of violence decreases when women change residency. … Asylum recognition also has positive consequences for females’ employment and earnings trajectories“ (p. 14).

Ukrainian return-migration: The Effect of Conflict on Ukrainian Refugees’ Return and Integration by Joop Adema, Cevat Giray Aksoy, Yvonne Giesing, and Panu Poutvaara as of Jan. 18th, 2024 (#16): “Our analysis has highlighted that the vast majority of Ukrainians in Ukraine plan to stay and most Ukrainian refugees in Europe plan to return. … we find that close to 2% of Ukrainian refugees returned every month. … Ukrainians’ confidence in their government and optimism have reached exceptionally high levels in international comparison (Fig. 6). … Confidence in the judiciary remains low, and corruption is perceived to be high“ (p. 24).

Is AI bad for migrants? The Impact of Technological Change on Immigration and Immigrants by Yvonne Giesing as of Jan. 18th, 2024 (#17): “We analyse and compare the effects of two different automation technologies: Industrial robots and artificial intelligence … (with) data on Germany … (we) identify how robots decrease the wage of migrants across all skill groups, while neither having a significant impact on the native population nor immigration flows. In the case of AI, we determine an increase in the wage gap as well as the unemployment gap of migrant and native populations. This applies to the low-, medium- and high-skilled and is indicative of migrants facing displacement effects, while natives might benefit from productivity and complementarity effects. In addition, AI leads to a significant inflow of immigrants“ (abstract).

Healthy broadband? Broadband Internet Access and Health Outcomes: Patient and Provider Responses in Medicare by Jessica Van Parys and Zach Y. Brown as of Jan. 23rd, 2024 (#16): “… we show that patients had better health outcomes and visited higher quality providers when they gained access to broadband internet. Our results imply that internet access makes patient demand more elastic with respect to quality. This mechanism is particularly important in hospital markets that are highly concentrated. … Overall, counterfactual simulations imply that broadband expansion was responsible for 16% of the total reduction in poor health outcomes for joint replacements from 1999 to 2008” (p. 25/26). My comment: I include this rather specific research because I have been discussing e.g. with ratings experts if telecommunications infrastructure can be SDG-aligned or not (for my approach see

ESG investment research (Neutral ESG)

Right-wing or green: Climate Polarization and Green Investment by Anders Anderson and David T. Robinson as of Jan. 24th, 2024 (#11): “Over the last decade, one of the world’s largest retirement systems (Sö: Sweden) went from offering very few climate-friendly investment choices to being dominated by them. … For men, proximity to extreme weather events increased the likelihood that they grew more concerned about global warming, while women across the board became more concerned about the climate, regardless of their proximity to adverse weather events. At the same time, men living in right-wing strongholds were generally less concerned about climate change after the extreme weather events than they were before” (p.28).

Negative or neutral ESG? Understanding the effect of ESG scores on stock returns using mediation theory by Serge Darolles, Gaelle Le Fol, and Yuyi He as of Dec. 7th, 2023 (#42): “We show that the information contained in corporate E, S, G or overall ESG scores is effectively incorporated into stock prices through both the investor demand channel and the fundamental/profitability channel. … institutional ownership is positively correlated with a firm’s environmental, social, governance and overall ESG scores. … We also find that they are more sensitive to G-performance and overall ESG performance than S and then E performance. Our results also show that ESG is priced by the market and that all scores have a significant negative impact on future returns. …” (p. 25/26). My comment: It would be interesting to see this approach applied not only to US stocks (mainly large caps) and more recent stock price levels.

Positive or neutral ESG? Material ESG Alpha: A Fundamentals-Based Perspective by Byung Hyun Ahn, Panos N. Patatoukas, and George S. Skiadopoulos as of Jan.17th, 2024 (#81): “We provide a fundamentals-based perspective on why firms with improving material ESG scores outperform. More financially established firms—firms with larger size, lower growth, and higher profitability relative to their sector—are associated with subsequent improvements in their material ESG score. … we find that the materiality portfolio does not generate alpha after we account for its exposure to profitability and growth pricing factors “ (p. 30). My comment: An investment strategy which focuses on ESG-improvement would have to ignore investments which already have high ESG-ratings or sell them to buy one with lower ratings to show improvement. This is not a responsible investment strategy.

Low ESG credit risks: ESG criteria and the credit risk of corporate bond portfolios by Andre Höck, Tobias Bauckloh,  Maurice Dumrose, and Christian Klein as of Oct. 25th, 2023: “… our findings highlight that the implementation of an ESG-best-in-class strategy significantly affects the credit risk exposure without any performance or diversification penalty. … the higher the sustainability, the lower the credit risk. … The findings of this study are robust to the usage of ESG ratings from different providers and different asset pricing models” (p. 579).

Unstable greenium: The European Carbon Bond Premium by Dirk Broeders, Marleen de Jonge, and David Rijsbergen from De Nederlandsche Bank as of Jan. 16th, 2024 (#36): “We present evidence of the existence of a significant carbon premium in euro area corporate bonds, which has steadily increased since early 2020. Over the whole sample period, from 2016 to 2022, we observe that a doubling of a firm’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions on average implies 6.6 basis point higher bond yield spreads. … From early 2020, the carbon premium increases steadily so that the effect more recently, in early 2022, is substantially higher than the sample average. A doubling of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by early 2022 on average results in a higher spread of 13.9 basis points. This means that European firms with high levels of carbon emissions face increasingly high financing costs. Our research also reveals a distinctive carbon premium term structure, rising with longer maturities. … the premium between short-term and long-term maturity bonds has diminished in recent years. … Our findings highlight, to some extent, why various studies have come to conflicting conclusions on the presence and magnitude of a carbon premium in financial asset prices. We show that the choice of sample period is an important determinant of the presence and extent of a carbon premium. … Additionally, we illustrate how climate litigation has become an important frontier of transition risk in the last years, which may have urged investors to progressively price a carbon premium” (p. 33/34).

Positive ESG pay: ESG-linked Pay Around the World —Trends, Determinants, and Outcomes by Sonali Hazarika, Aditya Kashikar, Lin Peng, Ailsa Röell and Yao Shen as of April 15th, 2023 (#308): “We study ESG-linked executive compensation contracts using an inclusive global sample of major firms across 59 countries over the period 2005-2020. We document a substantial increase in firms’ adoption of ESG-linked pay over the last decade, especially for firms from developed markets and those that belonging to the extractive and utility industries. The adoption decision is also strongly associated with the culture, shareholder rights and legal origin of the country where the firm resides. Among firm characteristics, large firms and firms with greater return on assets are more likely to adopt. The ESG-linked pay adopters exhibit significantly higher ESG scores, better ESG disclosure, and higher operating profit margin and return on assets. … we show that the treatment firms’ increased reliance on incentives tied to employee satisfaction is a plausible channel to achieve a “win-win” outcome” (p. 29/30). My skeptical comment: See HR-ESG shareholder engagement: Opinion-Post #210  and especially Wrong ESG bonus math? Content-Post #188

Other investment research

Normalized anomalies: Does U.S. Academic Research Destroy the Predictability of Global Stock Returns? by Guohao Tang, Yuwei Xie and Lin Zhu as of Jan. 16th, 2024 (#52): “We conduct a thorough investigation into 87 cross-sectional return anomalies, as documented in leading finance and accounting journals, spanning 38 countries. … In the global market, post-sample and post-publication returns diminish by 65% and 73%, respectively, from the in-sample mean. Intriguingly, predictors that demonstrate higher in-sample returns experience a more pronounced reduction in the post-publication phase“ (p. 16).

Robo-limits: Taming Behavioral Biases in Consumer Decision-Making: The Role of Robo-Advisors by Francesco D’Acunto and Alberto G. Rossi as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#41): “… in many cases robo-advising applications can help consumers make better choices but this is in no way universal. Indeed, not only do robo-advisors in some cases exacerbate the effect of underlying behavioral biases, but they sometimes even exploit behavioral biases in ways that might improve or worsen choices. Even for those cases in which extant research shows a positive average effect of exposure to robo-advising on medium-term outcomes for consumers, the effects are often highly heterogeneous“ (p. 26).

Political PE: Political Connections and Public Pension Fund Investments: Evidence from Private Equity by Jaejin Lee as of Dec. 29th, 2023 (#36): “This paper investigates the effects of political connections on private equity (PE) investment decisions by public pension funds, using a regression discontinuity design on U.S. state elections. A comparison of PE managers (GPs) donating to winning and losing candidates reveals a twofold increase in the probability of post-election PE investments from pension funds for GPs supporting winners. Pension funds with such connections show underperformance in PE investments. These effects are pronounced among pension board members with connections and in states with high corruption levels. These connected pension funds pay higher PE fees and exhibit more home-state bias, suggesting politicians influence investment decisions for personal gain” (abstract).

Finfluencer issues: The Finfluencer Appeal: Investing in the Age of Social Media Serena by Espeute and Rhodri Preece from the CFA Institute as of Jan. 25th, 2024: “Our analysis of finfluencer content posted on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram in the markets we studied shows that the most discussed asset classes were individual shares, index funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We found that 45% of this content offered guidance, 36% contained investment promotions, and 32% contained investment recommendations … Only 20% of the finfluencer content that contained recommendations, however, included any form of disclosure (such as the professional status of the finfluencer or whether the finfluencer received commissions or other forms of payment for recommending certain products). Further, just over half (53%) of the content that contained promotions made any form of disclosure. … Moreover, when disclosures regarding affiliate links (such as sign-up links to open accounts with trading platforms or free shares) were made, they were often generic, such as “some of the links may be affiliate links,” which obscured exactly which websites and/or product sign-ups the finfluencers were being remunerated for. … Finfluencers appeal to Gen-Z investors because they produce educational and engaging content that is free and instantly accessible. They are also relatable and, in some cases, perceived to be trustworthy“ (p. 3).


Advert for German investors

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 25 of 30 companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Collectibles: Picture of Aliens by Gerhard Janson

Collectibles: Researchpost #158

Collectibles: 14x new research on migration, biodiversity, forests, sustainability disclosures, ESG performance, ESG skills, ESG progress, activists and NFTs (#shows full paper SSRN downloads as of Jan. 11th, 2024)

Social and ecological research (Collectibles)

Positive naturalization: From Refugees to Citizens: Labor Market Returns to Naturalization by Francesco Fasani, Tommaso Frattini, and Maxime Pirot as of Dec. 20th,2023 (#12): “… exploring survey data from 21 European … We find that obtaining citizen status allows refugees to close their gaps in labor market outcomes relative to non-refugee migrants … showing that migrants with the lowest propensity to naturalize would benefit the most if they did. This reverse selection on gains can be explained by policy features that make it harder for more vulnerable migrant groups to obtain citizenship, suggesting that a relaxation of eligibility constraints would yield benefits for both migrants and host societies” (abstract).

Fresh water risks: A Fractal Analysis of Biodiversity: The Living Planet Index by Cristina Serpa and Jorge Buescu as of June 15th, 2023 (#39): “The Living Planet Index (LPI) is a global index which measures the state of the world`s biodiversity. Analyzing the LPI solely by statistical trends provides, however, limited insight. Fractal Regression Analysis …allows us to classify the world`s regions according to the progression of the LPI, helping us to identify and mathematically characterize the region of Latin America and Caribbean and the category of freshwater as worst-case scenarios with respect to the evolution of biodiversity” (abstract).

Science- or politics-based? Taxomania! Shaping forest policy through financial regulation by Anna Begemann, Camilla Dolriis, Alex B. Onatunji, Costanza Chimisso and Georg Winkel as of Dec. 1th, 2023 (#6): “This study investigates the evolution of advocacy coalitions and their strategies in the development of the (Sö: EU sustainability) taxonomy’s forestry criteria. It builds on process tracing involving 46 expert interviews conducted in 2019, 2021, and 2022 and an extensive document analysis. Our findings illustrate a complex process … highlighting strikingly different worldviews and economic and bureaucratic/political interests connected to these. Owing to a rich set of strategies employed, and deals made at different policy levels, as well as an overall lack of transparency, the proclaimed “science-based” decision-making is significantly compromised” (abstract).

Responsible investment research (Collectibles)

Positive regulation: Imposing Sustainability Disclosure on Investors: Does it Lead to Portfolio Decarbonization? by Jiyuan Dai, Gaizka Ormazabal, Fernando Penalva, and Robert A. Raney as of Dec. 22nd, 2023 (#670): “… we document that the introduction of the EU SFDR (Sö: Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation) … was followed by a decrease in the average portfolio emissions of EU funds that claim to invest based on sustainability criteria. … Funds already subject to sustainability disclosure mandates prior to the SFDR have significantly less decarbonization compared to funds being exposed to a sustainability disclosure mandate for the first time and decarbonization patterns are more pronounced for funds with higher levels of portfolio emissions prior to the SFDR and for funds domiciled in countries that are more sensitive to sustainability issues” (p. 29/30). My comment: I promote disclosure, see the details for my fund at

Good SDG returns: Determinants and Consequences of Sustainable Development Goals Disclosure: International Evidence by Sudipta Bose, Habib Zaman Khan and Sukanta Bakshi as of Jan. 2nd, 2023 (#22): “The study examines the determinants and consequences of firm-level Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) disclosure using a sample of 6,941 firm-year observations from 30 countries during 2016– 2019. … The findings reveal that approximately 48.40% of firms in the sample had active stakeholder engagement programs, 53.90% maintained a sustainability committee, and 62.60% issued standalone sustainability reports. The findings indicate that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, stakeholder engagement, and the issuance of standalone sustainability reports positively influence firm-level SDG disclosure. Moreover, the study finds a positive association between higher levels of SDG disclosure and increased firm value” (abstract). My comment: My experience: The good SDG returns lasted until 2022 but did not materialize in the first 9 months of 2023, but I expect them to come back (see 2023: Passive Allokation und ESG gut, SDG nicht gut – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Peers matter? Conform to the Norm. Peer Information and Sustainable Investments by Max Grossmann, Andreas Hackethal, Marten Laudi, and Thomas Pauls as of Dec. 23rd, 2023 (#74): “We conduct a field experiment with clients of a German universal bank … Our results show that information about peers’ inclination towards sustainable investing raises the amount allocated to stock funds labeled sustainable, when communicated during a buying decision. This effect is primarily driven by participants initially underestimating peers’ propensity to invest sustainably. Further, treated individuals indicate an increased interest in additional information on sustainable investments, primarily on risk and return expectations. However, when analyzing account-level portfolio holding data over time, we detect no spillover effects of peer information on later sustainable investment decisions” (abstract).

More ESG or lower risk? Inferring Investor Preferences for Sustainable Investment from Asset Prices by Andreas Barth and Christian Schlag as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#44): “We find that while firm CDS (Sö: Credit Default Swap) spreads co-vary negatively with equity returns, this effect is less pronounced for firms with a high ESG rating. This divergence between equity and CDS spreads for high- vs. low ESG-rated firms suggests that some equity investors have a preference for sustainability that cannot be explained with firm risk” (abstract).

Higher ESG returns? ESG Risk and Returns Implied by Demand-Based Asset Pricing Models by Chi Zhang, Xinyang Li, Andrea Tamoni, Misha van Beek, and Andrew Ang from Blackrock as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#68): “We find increases in preferences for ESG may result in increases in downside risk for the stocks with low ESG scores as these stocks may exhibit decreases in stock returns. … Additionally, our analysis shows that if the trend in increasing ESG preferences continues, there may be higher returns from stocks with higher ESG scores as increasing demand drives up the prices for these types of stocks. Naturally, portfolio outcomes depend on many more factors and macro drivers, but according to the demand-based asset pricing framework and estimations in this paper, ESG demand and characteristics does represent a driver of stocks’ risk and returns“ (p. 11). My comment: I also believe in higher future demand for sustainable investments and therefore attractive performances

Best-in-class deficits: Chasing ESG Performance: Revealing the Impact of Refinitiv’s Scoring System by Matteo Benuzzi, Karoline Bax, Sandra Paterlini, and Emanuele Taufer as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#19): “… we scrutinize the efficacy and accuracy of Refinitiv’s percentile ranking in ESG scoring, probing whether apparent improvements in scores truly reflect corporate advancement or are influenced by the entry of lower-scoring new companies and the relative performance with respect to the peer group universe. Our analysis uncovers a positive inflation in Refinitiv’s approach, where the addition of companies with limited information distorts ESG performance portrayal. … Our deep dive into score distributions consistently shows that Refinitiv’s method tends to produce inflated scores, especially for top performers“ (p. 19/20). My comment: Best-in-Class ESG-Ratings which cover a limited number of companies per „class“ are most likely much less robust compared to ratings with more peers per calls and best-in-universe ratings (which I use since quite some time, see Glorreiche 7: Sind sie unsozial? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

ESG rating changes: ESG Skill of Mutual Fund Managers by Marco Ceccarelli, Richard B. Evans, Simon Glossner, Mikael Homanen, and Ellie Luu as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#29): “A proactive fund manager is one who takes deliberate positions in firms whose ESG ratings later improve. By contrast, a reactive fund manager is one who “chases” ESG ratings, i.e., she trades in reaction to changes in ESG ratings. The former type shows ESG skill while the latter does not. We use an international sample of mutual fund managers to estimate these measures of skill … After an exogenous (but un-informative) change in firms’ ESG ratings, reactive fund managers significantly rebalance their portfolios, buying firms whose ratings improve and selling those whose ratings worsen. Proactive funds, on the other hand, do not rebalance their portfolios … Only a relatively small fraction of investors reward ESG skills with higher flows. These are investors holding funds with an explicit sustainability mandate. Presumably, these investors both value ESG skill and have the required sophistication to detect skilled managers” (p.17/18). My comment: In my experience, ESG provider methodology changes lead to more informative ESG ratings which would contradict the interpretation of this study.

ESG progress-limits? Do companies consistently improve their ESG performance? Evidence from US companies by Yao Zhou and Zhewei Zhang as of Dec. 20th,2023 (#12): “This paper depicts the trend of corporate ESG scores by measuring the growth rate of ESG scores for 8,462 firms from 2002 to 2022. … the empirical results indicate that firms’ ESG scores tend to maintain the status quo after achieving a certain level, rather than being improved consistently. These findings imply that firms tend to improve their ESG score after the first rating, but the degree of improvement lowers down over time” (abstract). My comment: Investment strategies trying to focus on ever increasing ESG-ratings do not seem to make much sense. I try to focus on the already best-rated investments.

Positive activists: Is the environmental activism of mutual funds effective? by Luis Otero, Pablo Duran-Santomil, and Diego Alaizas of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#12): “This paper analyzes the differences between mutual funds that declare ESG commitment and those that do not. Additionally, we explore their behavior in terms of voting on resolutions related to climate change and the environment. Our analysis reveals that activist funds generally exhibit a behavior that is consistent with their sustainable focus and have a lower proportion of greenwashers, contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions. Importantly, this sustainability orientation does not negatively impact their financial performance, as they attract significant flows and do not show worse performance compared to their traditional counterparts“ (abstract).

Other investment research

Low-yield collectibles: Convenience Yields of Collectibles by Elroy Dimson, Kuntara Pukthuanthong, and Blair Vorsatz as of Nov. 29th, 2023 (#53): “Using up to 110 years of collectibles returns for 13 distinct asset classes … Convenience yield estimates for 24 of our 30 collectibles return series are positive, with an annualized mean (median) of 2.64% (2.53%). Despite various forms of underestimation, these results provide evidence that assets with positive emotional returns have lower equilibrium financial returns” (abstract).

Useless NFTs? The emperor’s new collectibles by Balázs Bodó and Joost Poort as of Dec. 13th, 2023 (#25): “Over the past years, NFTs (Sö: Non-fungible tokens) have by some been predicted to revolutionize the markets for arts and copyright protected works. In short, the vision was that on the basis of unique, blockchain based tokens, and through their automated exchange, an extension or even a replacement of the traditional art markets, and the copyright-based system of production, circulation and use of cultural works could emerge. Currently, however, the state of the NFT ecosystem can be summarized as an in some sense failed experiment. This chapter starts by unpacking what we consider the four broken promises of NFTs vis-à-vis the CCIs and copyright. We briefly describe the technological underpinning of these promises, and why they were broken. Subsequently, we discuss whether there may still be a future for NFTs as a new asset class related to creative output” (abstract).


Advert for German investors

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 26 of 30 companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Houseowner risks illustrated by flooding foto from Pixabay

Houseowner risks: Researchpost #157

Houseowner risks: 13x new research on houseowner and job risks, migration, good lobbying, online altruism, criminal lawyers, rule of law, biodiversity, green bank risks, climate votes, private equity and innovation (“#” shows the number of SSRN full paper downloads as of Jan. 4th, 2023)

Social and ecological research: Houseowner risks

Houseowner risks (1): Feeling Rich, Feeling Poor: Housing Wealth Effects and Consumption in Europe by Serhan Cevik and Sadhna Naik from the International Monetary Fund as of Dec. 13th, 2023 (#24): “Residential property accounts for, on average, about 55 percent of aggregate household wealth in Europe, but exhibits significant variation across countries. This paper provides a dynamic analysis of housing wealth effects on consumer spending in a panel of quarterly observations on 20 European countries during the period 1980–2023…. Estimation results confirm that household consumption responds strongly to house price movements and disposable income growth in real terms. … Our seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter estimations imply that the average decline of 1.96 percent in real house prices in the first quarter of 2023 could dampen consumer spending by about -0.51 percentage points in our sample of European countries on a cumulative basis over a horizon of eight quarters” (p. 11/12).

Houseowner risks (2): Who Bears Climate-Related Physical Risk? by Natee Amornsiripanitch and David Wylie as of Dec. 1st, 2023 (#74): “This paper combines data on current and future property-level physical risk from major climate-related perils (storms, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires) that owner-occupied single-family residences face in the contiguous United States. Current expected damage from climate-related perils is approximately $19 billion per year. Severe convective storms and inland floods account for almost half of the expected damage. The central and southern parts of the U.S. are most exposed to climate-related physical risk, with hurricane-exposed areas on the Gulf and South Atlantic coasts being the riskiest areas. Relative to currently low-risk areas, currently high-risk areas have lower household incomes, lower labor market participation rates, and lower education atainment, suggesting that the distribution of climate-related physical risk is correlated with economic inequality” (abstract).

Job climate risks: Do firms mitigate climate impact on employment? Evidence from US heat shocks by Viral V Acharya, Abhishek Bhardwaj, and Tuomas Tomunen as of Dec. 20th, 2023 (#32): “… we studied how firms respond to extreme temperature shocks … We found that firms operating in multiple counties respond to these shocks by reducing employment in the affected county and increasing it in unaffected ones, … Single location firms simply scale down their employment. We found that the effect is stronger for firms that are more profitable, less levered and financially constrained … We also found that the effect is stronger for firms that are more concerned about their climate change exposure and that have a larger fraction of ESG funds as their owners … We also found that counties experiencing heat shocks experience employment shift from small to large firms within the county” (p. 27).

Positive immigration: The Macroeconomic Effects of Large Immigration Waves by Philipp Engler, Margaux MacDonald, Roberto Piazza, and Galen Sher of the International Monetary Fund as of Dec. 28th, 2023 (#9): “In OECD, large immigration waves raise domestic output and productivity in both the short and the medium term, pointing to significant dynamic gains for the host economy. We find no evidence of negative effects on aggregate employment of the native-born population. In contrast, our analysis of large refugee flows into emerging and developing countries does not find clear evidence of macroeconomic effects on the host country …”.

Pro lobbying: The Lobbying for Good Movement by Alberto Alemanno as of Dec. 13th, 2023 (#735): “Lobbying is about providing ideas and sharing concerns with policymakers to make them—and the whole policy process—more responsive. … lobbying is one of the most effective ways to enact political, economic, and social change … Only a handful of nonprofits lobby …. “ (abstract).

Online Altruism: What it is and how it Differs from Other Kinds of Altruism by Katherine Lou and Luciano Floridi as of Nov. 10th, 2023 (#80): “Online altruism often contrasts with the ideals of Effective Altruism. Altruistic acts online are often not particularly planned by the giver in advance, they are not the most effective uses of a certain amount of money, and they definitely do not aim toward a long-term vision that solves humanity’s most pressing problems. That is because participants in online altruism tend to focus on the experience and immediate effects on another human being, enabled through online platform mechanisms. … creating a more altruistic society and meeting the needs of people in the present, regardless of whether such altruism is maximally effective or in pursuit of any larger vision, seems just as crucial to be able to build a better world. … It is complementary to other forms of altruism, not an alternative” (p. 23/24).

Criminal lawyers? Lawyers and the Abuse of Government Power by Margaret Tarkington as of Nov. 29th, 2023 (#16): “The legal profession needs to amend the rules of professional conduct to protect our constitutional system of government from those most likely to effectively undermine it: lawyers. The historic federal indictment against former President Donald Trump for conspiring to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election included five attorney co-conspirators: … Eight lawyers were indicted in Georgia on similar charges. …. Lawyers weren’t just involved in Trump’s plot; they devised and enabled it. Rather than accurately advise Trump that he had lost and needed to concede, lawyers crafted a plan to circumvent court losses and subvert States’ certified electors—effectively disenfranchising seven entire States to enable Trump to win with only 232 electoral votes. To accomplish this end, lawyers recreated a faux version of the 1876 constitutional crisis by fabricating false electoral slates—manipulating law and fact to enable a coup and give it the trappings of legality and thus legitimacy. Only lawyers could have performed these services” (abstract).

Responsible investment research

Rule of law: Does Rule of Law Matter For Firms? Evidence From Shifting Political Control in Hong Kong by Jonathan S. Hartley as of Dec. 12th, 2023 (#58): “This paper analyzes Hong Kong’s 2020 National Security Law as introduced and imposed by the Communist Party of China as a natural experiment in diminishing the rule of law in a trade-financial hub …. this paper presents evidence that the National Security Law caused significant uncertainty in the rule of law, emigration of residents and foreign firms, and declines in the valuations of Hong Kong firms and residential real estate as well as a decline in real GDP per capita. … stock prices were most particularly sensitive in the real estate, air travel, and financial/banking sectors while less sensitive in the power and utility, hospital/gaming, and multinational/other industry categories“ (p. 11). My comment: I replaced my minimum country selection requirements for “Human Rights” with demanding minimum requirements for “Rule of Law” a few years ago, because rule of law is a broader “responsibility” measurement criterion. Therefore, I exclude e.g. investments in companies headquartered in BRICS countries.

Biodiversity premium: Do Investors Care About Biodiversity? by Alexandre Garel, Arthur Romec, Zacharias Sautner and Alexander F. Wagner as of Dec. 28th, 2023 (#2210): “… biodiversity preservation can clash with actions taken to address climate change. For example, renewable energy and electric cars require lithium, cobalt, magnesium, and nickel, the mining of which comes with severe impacts on biodiversity (and on the human communities that rely on biodiversity). … Examining a large sample of international stocks, we find that over our sample period, investors did not care about the impact of firms on biodiversity, on average. However, things appear to be changing, as we document the emergence of a biodiversity footprint premium following the Kunming Declaration (the first part of the COP15). Consistent with this effect, we document negative stock price reactions for firms with large biodiversity footprints in the days following the Kunming Declaration. Stock prices of firms with large biodiversity footprints further dropped after the Montreal Agreement (the second part of the COP15). Our results indicate that investors start to ask for a return premium in light of the uncertainty associated with future biodiversity regulation“ (p. 29/30).

Unknown climate risks: The effects of climate change-related risks on banks: A literature review by Olivier de Bandt, Laura-Chloé Kuntz, Nora Pankratz, Fulvio Pegoraro, Haakon Solheim, Greg Sutton, Azusa Takeyama and Dora Xia as of Dec. 6th, 2023: “The survey acknowledges the great number of new research papers that have very recently been made available … Apart from a few outliers … the microeconomic impacts of climate change on particular portfolios are relatively small, below 50 bp on loan and bond spreads. … several authors conclude that realized returns on climate change-related risks are below expected return, providing evidence of an underestimation of risk. … Liquidity issues arising from climate change-related shocks are still insufficiently researched. … The overall impact of climate change, which becomes multifaceted and affects various portfolios at the same time and in a correlated fashion, may therefore be more significant. In particular, the difficulty to model possible non-linear effects related to climate change and to capture tipping points might lead to an underestimation of risks. … There are still data issues, notably in terms of granularity, as well as methodological issues, which prevent a definite assessment of the situation, both for physical risks (lack of exact location of the exposures in many instances) and transition risks (notably lack of evaluation for SMEs)” (p. 28/29). My comment: I try to invest in listed stocks with low ESG-risks and high SDG-alignments which should reduce risks, see Divestments: 49 bei 30 Aktien meines Artikel 9 Fonds – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Voting deficits: Climate Votes: The Great Deception: An assessment of asset managers’ climate votes in 2023 by Agathe Masson from Reclaim Finance as of December 2023: “… the assessment of 2023 voting reveals that asset managers are encouraging fossil fuel companies to pursue expansion plans, exacerbating the global warming crisis. They therefore fail their responsibility to make long-term investment decisions integrating climate-related risks, and are at real risk of being accused of greenwashing“ (p. 4). My comment: For my direct equity portfolios, I only accept 0% fossil energy production. Unfortunately, many of the strictest “sustainable” ETFs still include such production so that I cannot make sure that my responbile ETF-Portfolios have 0% exposure to fossil energy production. Regarding my opinion on “transition investments” see ESG Transition Bullshit? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

ESG affects PE: ESG Incidents and Fundraising in Private Equity by Teodor Duevski, Chhavi Rastogi, and Tianhao Yao as of Dec. 14th, 2023 (#55): “Using a sample of global buyout investments, we find that experiencing an environvimental and social (E&S) incident in its portfolio companies … Affected PE firms are less likely to raise a subsequent fund and the subsequent funds are smaller. The relative size of subsequent funds are 7.6% smaller for PE firms experiencing higher-than-median number of E&S incidents, compared to those with no incidents. The effect is stronger for less reputable PE firms” (abstract).

Other investment research (in: Houseowner risks)

Innovative VC: How Resilient is Venture-Backed Innovation? Evidence from Four Decades of U.S. Patenting by Sabrina T. Howell, Josh Lerner, Ramana Nanda, and Richard Townsend as of Oct. 5th, 2023 (#742): “This paper shows that while patents filed by VC-backed firms are of significantly higher quality than the average patent, VC-backed innovation is substantially more procyclical. We trace this to changes in innovation by early-stage VC-backed startups“ (p. 22).


Advert for German investors

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 27 of 30 companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Green risks illustrated with bridge into the jungle by Nile from Pixabay

Green risks: Researchpost #151

Green risks: 9x new research on GPT, influencers, sustainable products, climate policies and city and market risks, environmental metrics, investment fees and art  (# shows the number of full paper SSRN downloads as of Nov. 9th, 2023)

Social and ecological research: Green risks

Good GPT? Capital Market Consequences of Generative AI: Early Evidence from the Ban of ChatGPT in Italy by Jeremy Bertomeu, Yupeng Lin, Yibin Liu, and Zhenghui Ni as of Oct. 11th, 2023 (#633): “On March 31, 2023, the Italian data protection authority found that ChatGPT violated data protection laws and banned the service in Italy …. Italian firms with greater exposure to the technology exhibit an underperformance of around 9% compared to firms with lower exposure during the ban period. We observe a more significant negative impact on stock value for smaller and newly established companies …. Analysts located in Italy issue fewer forecasts than foreign analysts covering the same Italian firm. Further, bid-ask spreads widen during the ban, particularly for firms with fewer institutional investors, limited analyst coverage, and a lower presence of foreign investors“ (abstract). My comment see How can sustainable investors benefit from artificial intelligence? – GITEX Impact – Leading ESG Event 2023

Hidden sponsors: How Much Influencer Marketing Is Undisclosed? Evidence from Twitter by Daniel Ershov, Yanting He, and Stephan Seiler as of Nov. 8th, 2023 (#133): „… we quantify the importance of undisclosed sponsored content on Twitter based on a unique data set of over 100 million posts …. We find that undisclosed sponsored posts are ubiquitous with 96% of all sponsored content being undisclosed. The share of undisclosed content decreases only slightly over time despite stronger regulation and only a small share of brands responded to a regulatory change that mandated disclosure at the beginning of a post. … We also find that young brands with a larger social media following are less likely disclose sponsored content. These kind of brands will likely rely more heavily on influencers and therefore disclosure rates might remain low in the future“.

Green distribution deficits: Sustainable Product Demand and Profit Potential by Bryan Bollinger, Randi Kronthal-Sacco, and Levin Zhu as of Oct. 13th, 2023 (#43): “… we flexibly estimate price elasticities for every product in every county in the United States, for which we have sufficient data, in different store formats. … While profit potential and availability of sustainable products increase together with some demographic variables, in other cases the availability of sustainable products does not reflect the profit potential. … for mass merchandiser stores, we find that sustainable products are more available in markets with higher incomes, higher Democratic vote share, and a higher fraction of the population that is white, despite the fact that profit potential is not higher in these markets for the majority of categories. Our findings that the demographic factors still predict availability even after controlling for profit potential suggest that product distribution decisions (either by manufacturers or retailers) may be influenced by prior beliefs about preferences of consumers that fit these criteria. Our findings speak to potential access issues to sustainable products for less “stereotypical” sustainable consumers (non-white, less college education, lower income, and Republican), which also presents a potential market opportunity for manufacturers and retailers“ (p. 30/31).

Climate action framing: Public Support for Climate Change Mitigation Policies: A Cross-Country Survey by Era Dabla-Norris, Salma Khalid, Giacomo Magistretti, and Alexandre Sollaci from the International Monetary Fund as of Nov. 2nd, 2023 (#11): “This paper uses large-scale public perceptions surveys across 28 emerging market and advanced economies to examines how individuals view different climate mitigation policies and what drives their support. We find there is significant heterogeneity on climate risk perceptions and preferences for policies across individuals and countries. Respondents in emerging market economies (in general, countries more vulnerable to climate change) tend to see it as a bigger problem and are more supportive of policies to mitigate it. Concerns about climate change are also higher among women … Our surveys find that lack of support for carbon pricing is driven by concerns about rising energy prices and the perception that such policies are ineffective at reducing climate change. Another major concern is their perceived regressiveness (disproportionate impact on low-income households). … individuals that are given a short text describing the effectiveness of carbon pricing policies and their co-benefits increase their support by 7 percentage points. In contrast, reading a paragraph highlighting the costs of such policies decreases respondents’ support by 9 percentage points… the majority of respondents in every country in our sample find that all countries should bear the burden of those policies, not only the rich ones. Finally, we also find broad support for policies based on current, rather than historical, emissions …“ (p. 26/27).

City climate costs: A Market-based Measure of Climate Risk for Cities by Alexander W. Butler and Cihan Uzmanoglu as of Oct. 30th, 2023 (#43): “We estimate the climate news sensitivities—climate news betas—of municipal bonds and invert their signs. This way, we expect bonds with higher (lower) climate news betas to be affected more (less) negatively from future negative climate news. We find that climate news betas are positively associated with yield spreads. The effect is economically meaningful: a one-standard deviation increase in climate news beta is associated with an increase of between 2.48% and 11.17% in average yield spreads. This finding demonstrates that higher climate risk exposure is associated with higher cost of borrowing. … there is substantial variation in climate risk based on cities’ demographics, such as poverty, population density, and climate science acceptance” (p. 29/30).

Responsible investment research: Green risks

Green policy risks: The Effect of U.S. Climate Policy on Financial Markets: An Event Study of the Inflation Reduction Act by Michael D. Bauer, Eric A. Offner, Glenn D. Rudebusch as of Nov. 8th, 2023 (#11): „… We show that the equity market responses to announcements of climate policy actions were quick, substantial, and distinctly heterogeneous with wide variation across firms and industries. Green stocks— equities of firms with lower carbon emission intensities and better environmental and emission scores—benefited from news that the IRA (Sö : US InflationReduction Act) would become law, while brown stocks—those of more carbon-intensive and more polluting firms—lost value. … We find equity movements in the opposite direction—with brown stocks outperforming green stocks—for the earlier event when the prospects for climate action shifted to negligible. … Industries likely to benefit from the new policies—in particular, the utilities, construction, and automobile/transportation sectors—saw their stocks appreciate. However, across all industries, there was little correlation between industry-level greenness and stock market response. This finding suggests that a more granular, firm-level level approach may often be necessary to reliably capture exposure to transition risk“ (p. 27/28).

Green risk reduction: Can environmental metrics improve bank portfolios’ performance? by Gian Marco Mensi and Maria Cristina Recchioni as of Nov. 2nd, 2023 (#13): “We investigate the effectiveness of three different climate metrics in identifying green banks within a sample of large Eurozone and US lenders in the February 2019 – April 2022 period. … relative exposure to stranded assets, environmental ratings and Scope 2 emissions … The results show that the selected climate loss proxy overperforms in the Eurozone, succeeding in creating an effective climate tilt while containing active risk. Both emission-adjusted and rating-modified portfolios work as well, albeit less effectively. Conversely, the results with respect to US banks are inconclusive, with no metric consistently overperforming … “ (abstract).

Other investment research

More active, more money? Do Fees Matter? Investor’s Sensitivity to Active Management Fees by Trond Døskeland, André Wattø Sjuve, and Andreas Ørpetveit as of Sept. 16th, 2023 (#324): “… we find that excess fees are negatively related to subsequent quarterly net flows, while the level of active management (measured by active share) is positively related to subsequent quarterly net flows … the fee variables are only moderately related to Morningstar ratings …” (p. 37). My position on active management see 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Attractive art: Portfolio Diversification Including Art as an Alternative Asset by Diana Barro, Antonella Basso, Stefania Funari and Guglielmo Alessandro Visentinas of Oct. 31st, 2023 (#42): “We have shown that art returns are extremely volatile, and that much of this volatility can be attributed to the seasonal behavior of the time series. Moreover, notwithstanding the high risk, art still performs reasonably well compared with other asset classes, with which it is low correlated, and may even represent a better safe haven than gold“ (p. 24/25).


Liquid impact advert for German investors

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 28 of 30 engaged companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Emissions trading: Illustration from Pixaby by AS_Appendorf

Emissions trading and more: Researchblog #146

Emissions trading: 16x new research on fossil subsidies, ECB eco policy, GHG disclosures, supplier ESG, workforce ESG, geospatial ESG data, ESG reputation and performance, investor driven greenwashing, sustainable blockchain, active management, GenAI for asset management and more

Emissions trading (ecological) research

Fossil subsidies: IMF Fossil Fuel Subsidies Data: 2023 Update by Simon Black, Antung A. Liu, Ian Parry, and Nate Vernon from the International Monetary Fund as of Oct. 4th, 2023 (#11): “Fossil fuel subsidy estimates provide a summary statistic of prevailing underpricing of fossil fuels. … falling energy prices provide an opportune time to lock in pricing of carbon and local air pollution emissions without necessarily raising energy prices above recently experienced levels. For example, even with a carbon price of $75 per tonne, international natural gas prices in 2030 (shown in Figure 1) would be well below peak levels in 2022. Energy price reform needs to be accompanied by robust assistance for households, but this should be both targeted at low-income households (to limit fiscal costs) and unrelated to energy consumption (to avoid undermining energy conservation incentives). Assistance might therefore take the form of means-tested transfer payments or perhaps lump-sum rebates in energy bills“ (p. 23). My comment: Total subsidies for Germany for 2022 amout to US$ bln 129 (or 3% of GDP, see table p. 27), one of the largest amounts worldwide.

ECB policy model: Climate-conscious monetary policy by Anton Nakov and Carlos Thomas from the European Central Bank as of Sept. 29th, 2023 (#23): “We study the implications of climate change and the associated mitigation measures for optimal monetary policy in a canonical New Keynesian model with climate externalities. Provided they are set at their socially optimal level, carbon taxes pose no trade-offs for monetary policy: it is both feasible and optimal to fully stabilize inflation and the welfare-relevant output gap. More realistically, if carbon taxes are initially suboptimal, trade-offs arise between core and climate goals. These trade-offs however are resolved overwhelmingly in favor of price stability, even in scenarios of decades-long transition to optimal carbon taxation. This reflects the untargeted, inefficient nature of (conventional) monetary policy as a climate instrument. In a model extension with financial frictions and central bank purchases of corporate bonds, we show that green tilting of purchases is optimal and accelerates the green transition. However, its effect on CO2 emissions and global temperatures is limited by the small size of eligible bonds’ spreads” (abstract).

Pollution trade? Are Developed Countries Outsourcing Pollution? by Arik Levinson as of summer 2023: “… in general, the balance of the evidence to date does not find statistically or economically significant evidence of regulations causing outsourcing. For all the talk of outsourcing pollution in the media and politics, there is surprisingly little empirical evidence that high-income regions increasingly and disproportionally import products of the most polluting sectors“ (p. 107).

Emission trading (1): Emissions trading system: bridging the gap between environmental targets and fair competition by Massimo Beccarello and Giacomo Di Foggia as of Aug. 27th, 2023 (#22)“The effectiveness of the European Emissions Trading System in supporting a level playing field while reducing total emissions is tested. While data show a robust impact on the environment as a steady decrease in carbon emissions is observed, it is reported that its ability to internalize emission costs may improve to better address the import of extra European generated emissions that negatively impact the economy when not properly accounted for. Analyzing data in six European countries between 2016 and 2020, the results suggest competitive advantages for industries with higher extra-European imports of inputs that result in biased production costs that, in turn, alter competitive positioning” (abstract).

Emissions trading (2): Firm-Level Pollution and Membership of Emission Trading Schemes by Gbenga Adamolekun, Festus Fatai Adedoyin, and Antonios Siganos as of Sept. 18th, 2023 (#7): “Our evidence indicates that firms that are members of ETS emit on average more carbon than their counterparts that are not members of the scheme. Members of emission trading schemes are more effective in their carbon reduction efforts. Firms that are members of an ETS emit significantly more sulphur and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than their peers that are not members of an ETS. We also find that members of ETS typically have more environmental scandals than their counterparts that are non-members. … We also report that firms that choose to exit the scheme continue emitting more than their counterparts. … new entrants initially do not emit more than their peers at the beginning, but they increase their emissions in the years following” (S. 24/25).

Different disclosures: Climate Disclosure: A Machine Learning-Based Analysis of Company-Level GHG Emissions and ESG Data Disclosure by Andrej Bajic as of August 24th, 2023 (#39): “One of the key findings of the study indicates that larger firms tend to exhibit a greater tendency to disclose both ESG (partial disclosure) and GHG data (full disclosure) … more profitable and carbon-intensive firms tend to disclose data more frequently. Furthermore, we find that companies from Western, Northern, and Southern demonstrate a stronger propensity towards disclosing GHG emissions data, whereas those from North America, particularly the US, have a higher tendency to provide general ESG data (partial disclosure), but not as much transparency regarding their GHG emissions“ (p. 25/26). My comment: I try to convince small- and midcap companies to disclose GHG scope 3 emissions, see  Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – (

No intrinsic ESG? Do Major Customers Affect Suppliers‘ ESG Activities? by Feng Dong, John A. Doukas, Rongyao Zhang, Stephanie Walton, and Yiyang Zhang as of Sept. 20th, 2023 (#18): “Our empirical findings show a significantly negative relation between customer concentration and suppliers‘ ESG engagement, indicating that firms with major customers have fewer incentives to engage in ESG activities to improve their social capital, thereby attracting other customers. Instead, they cater to (maintain) their current major customers by allocating capital resources to other activities aiming to increase their intangible asset base … firms tend to maintain higher levels of ESG engagement when their principal customers exhibit greater financial leverage and bankruptcy risk. … Additionally, we find that suppliers with concentrated customer bases and customers facing lower switching costs tend to have higher levels of ESG engagement, while suppliers with non-diversified revenue streams also exhibit higher levels of ESG activities” (p. 32/33). My comment: Regarding supplier ESG effects see Supplier engagement – Opinion post #211 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Social research

Green flexibility: More Flexibility, Less Sustainability: How Workforce Flexibility Has a Dual Effect on Corporate Environmental Sustainability by Tobias Stucki and David Risi as of Sept. 24th, 2023 (#6): “Research suggests a strong link between corporate environmental sustainability and workforce flexibility. On the one hand, forms of workforce flexibility, such as job rotation and temporary employment, are relevant for organizational learning and absorptive capacity. On the other, organizational learning and absorptive capacity influence the adoption of environmental management systems (EMS) and green process innovation. … we hypothesize that (a) workforce flexibility positively affects green process innovation because it stimulates absorptive capacity and that (b) workforce flexibility has a negative moderating effect on the relationship between EMS (Sö: environmental Management systems) adoption and green process innovation … Empirical tests based on two representative datasets support our premises” (abstract). My comment: For the above mentioned reasons I include temporary work providers in my SDG-aligned portfolios and in my fund (see e.g. Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( I could not find many other investors with a similar approach, though.  

Responsible investment research (Emissions trading)

Geo-ESG-Caching? Locating the Future of ESG: The Promise of Geospatial Data in Advancing ESG Research by Ulrich Atz and Christopher C. Bruno as of Sept.20th, 2023 (#25): “We reiterate that most contemporary critiques of ESG are appropriate. But this does not contradict the enormous progress we have made over the last ten years in measuring ESG performance. The tension rather highlights that there is no shortcut for establishing the next generation of accounting for sustainability performance. Aggregate ESG scores can never serve more than a narrow purpose. Practitioners need to accept that they have to deal with a menu of ESG performance metrics depending on factors that affect their business, industry, or preferences of their investors. We see the frontier and most promising avenue for better ESG measurements in location-based data“ (p. 9).

ESG image costs: ESG Reputation Risk Matters: An Event Study Based on Social Media Data by Maxime L. D. Nicolas, Adrien Desroziers, Fabio Caccioli, and Tomaso Aste as of Sept. 22nd, 2023 (#73): “… this study is the first to examine how shareholders respond to ESG related reputational risk events and how social media shapes their perception on the matter. … On the event date of an ESG-risk event, we observe a statistically significant decrease of approximately 0.29% in abnormal returns. Furthermore, this effect is stronger for Social and Governance-related risks, specifically “Product Liability”, “Stakeholder Opposition”, and “Corporate Governance”. Environmental-risk events don’t have a significant impact on stock prices, unless they are about “Environmental Opportunities“ (p. 10/11).

ESG risks: ESG Performance and Stock Risk in U.S. Financial Firms by Kyungyeon (Rachel) Koha and Jooh Lee as of Sept. 25th, 2023 (#45): “This study empirically examines the relationship between ESG performance and firm risks in the U.S. financial services industry. Our findings of a negative relationship between ESG and firm risk (total, idiosyncratic, and systematic) underscore the importance of ESG as both an ethical imperative and a strategic tool to manage risk in financial firms. … Specifically, under-diversified CEOs, with larger stakes in their firms, stand to benefit even more from high ESG performance, reinforcing the negative association between ESG and firm risk. Similarly, the interaction between ESG and leverage provides insight into how ESG can counteract the inherent risks associated with high leverage” (p. 13/14).

Greenwashing differences: Measuring Greenwashing: the Greenwashing Severity Index by Valentina Lagasio as of Sept. 28th, 2023 (#83): “Using a diverse dataset of 702 globally-listed companies … Our findings reveal variations in greenwashing practices, with certain sectors exhibiting higher susceptibility to greenwashing, while smaller companies tend to engage in fewer deceptive practices. … Key implications highlight the importance of transparent ESG reporting, third-party verification, and regulatory frameworks in combating greenwashing” (abstract).

Investor driven greenwashing? Green or Greenwashing? How Manager and Investor Preferences Shape Firm Strategy by Nathan Barrymore as of Sept. 19th, 2023 (#72): “This paper examines how managers’ and investors’ preferences with regards to … pressure … for environmental and social (ESG) responsibility – causes firms to either make substantive changes that result in improved outcomes or to greenwash: adopt symbolic policies. I find that managers’ ESG preferences, as proxied using their language on earnings calls, are associated with both ESG policies and outcomes. However, investors’ ESG preferences are associated with policies, but not outcomes, suggestive of greenwashing. … Greenwashing also correlates with ESG ratings disagreement, providing practical insight for managers and investors“ (abstract). My comment: Unfortunately, having policies often seems to be enough for some self-proclaimed responsible investors. I focus much more on outcomes such as SDG-alignment, see e.g. No engagement-washing! Opinion-Post #207 – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Sustainable blockchain? Blockchain Initiatives Dynamics Regarding The Sustainable Development Goals by Louis Bertucci and Jacques-André Fines-Schlumberger as of September 29th, 2023 (#60): “Using an open database of blockchain impact projects, we provide a dynamic analysis of these projects in relation with SDGs. We explain why the Bitcoin blockchain itself can help the development of clean energy infrastructure. … We also show that overall public blockchains are more popular than private blockchain and most importantly that the share of public blockchains as underlying technology is increasing among impact projects, which we believe is the right choice for global and transparent impact projects. More recently a new paradigm is emerging in the decentralized ecosystem called Regenerative Finance (or ReFi). Regenerative Finance merges the principles of Decentralised Finance (DeFi), which has the potential to broaden financial inclusion, facilitate open access, encourage permissionless innovation, and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators … with regenerative practices. … regenerative finance seeks to build a financial system that generates positive environmental and social outcomes … to fund public goods, encourage climate-positive initiatives and shift current economic systems from extractive models to regenerative ones“ (p. 20/21).

Other investment research (Emissions trading)

More effort, fewer trades? (Not) Everybody’s Working for the Weekend: A Study of Mutual Fund Manager Effort by Boone Bowles and Richard B. Evans as of Sept. 20th, 2023 (#53): “Our measure compares observable mutual fund work activity between regular workdays and weekends. We find that effort (P ctW k) varies over time (there is generally more effort between November and February) and across mutual funds (larger, more expensive, better run funds put in more effort). Further, we find that within-family increases in effort come in response to poor recent performance, outflows and higher volatility. We … find that after mutual funds increase their effort their portfolios are more concentrated, have higher active share, and experience lower turnover. … more effort leads to better performance in the future in terms of benchmark adjusted alphas“ (p.23/24).

GenAI for investments? Generative AI: Overview, Economic Impact, and Applications in Asset Management by Martin Luk frm Man AHL as of September 19th, 2023 (#1974): “This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution and latest advancements in Generative AI models, alongside their economic impact and applications in asset management. … The first section outlines the key innovations and methodologies that underpin large language models like ChatGPT, while also covering image-based, multimodal, and tool-using Generative AI models. … the second section reviews the impact of Generative AI on jobs, productivity, and various industries, ending with a focus on use-cases within investment management. This section also addresses the dangers and risks associated with the use of Generative AI, including the issue of hallucinations” (abstract). My comment see AI: Wie können nachhaltige AnlegerInnen profitieren? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 30 of 30 engaged companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T or Noch eine Fondsboutique? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Smiling robot as illustration for AI risks by MIM326 from Pixabay

AI risks: Researchpost #140

AI risks: 16x new research on AI, job risks, migration, climate, food, GHG accounting, biodiversity, broadband, return measures, listed private equity, Ethereum etc. by Lars Hornuf, Marc Elsberg and many more (#: SSRN downloads as of Aug. 24th,2023)

Social and ecological research: AI risks

Firing risks: Does Climate Risk Affect Employment Decisions? International Evidence by Claude Francoeur, Faten Lakhal, Hamza Nizar, Zvi Singer as of Aug. 13th, 2023 (#32): “Using a cross-country sample of 31,200 observations for the period 2011–2019, we find that climate risk due to extreme weather events is positively associated with underinvesting in labor and, in particular, with over-firing employees. … The results also show that the underinvestment behavior is less severe for firms that are more socially responsible” (abstract).

AI risks for jobs: The Short-Term Effects of Generative Artificial Intelligence on Employment: Evidence from an Online Labor Market by Xiang Hui, Oren Reshef, and Luofeng Zhou as of Aug. 21st, 2023 (#203): “This paper studies the short-term effects of generative AI and LLMs (Sö: Large language models) on labor outcomes by estimating the effect of ChatGPT on the employment of workers in a large online labor market (Sö: Upwork). Across the board, we find that freelancers who offer services in occupations most affected by AI experienced reductions in both employment and earnings. The release of ChatGPT leads to a 2% drop in the number of jobs on the platform, and a 5.2% drop in monthly earnings. …. top employees are disproportionately hurt by AI” (p. 13). My comment: I include HR service companies with good E, S and G-Ratings in my SDG-aligned portfolios because they help many people to find temporary and permanent new jobs.

AI risks (2): The Algorithmic Explainability “Bait and Switch” by Boris Babic and I. Glenn Cohen as of Aug. 20th, 2023 (#15): “Explainability in artificial intelligence and machine learning (“AI/ML”) is emerging as a leading area of academic research and a topic of significant regulatory concern. … We argue that for explainability to be a moral requirement — and even more so for it to be a legal requirement — it should satisfy certain desiderata which it currently does not, and possibly cannot. … the currently prevailing approaches to explainable AI/ML are (1) incapable of guiding our action and planning, (2) incapable of making transparent the actual reasons underlying an automated decision, and (3) incapable of underwriting normative (moral/legal) judgments, such as blame and resentment. This stems from the post hoc nature of the explanations offered by prevailing explainability algorithms. As we explain, that these algorithms are “insincere-by design,” so to speak” (abstract).

E-deficits: Is advanced digitalisation the philosopher´s stone or a complex challenge? – Experiences from Austrian and German EA practice by Birthe Uhlhorn, Gesa Geißler, Alexandra Jiricka-Pürre as of June 28th, 2023 (#9): “… While research increasingly discusses digital developments and their influence on procedural steps, the uptake of advanced digital tools remains limited amongst planning professionals in Germany and Austria. Practitioners still share concerns related to data quality, causalities and legal securities among others. … In addition, EA practice (Sö: Environmental assessment) in Germany and Austria lacks strategic discussion on the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation so far … this paper confirms the potential of digital solutions to improve the quality of EA processes and accelerate EA practice … ” (p. 15).

Pro/Con Migration: Attitudes to Migration and the Market for News by Razi Farukh, Matthias Heinz, Anna Kerkhof, and Heiner Schumacher as of Aug. 21st, 2023 (#6): “For Germany, we found that most national news outlets adopt an attitude to migration that is in between the two ideological extremes, but closer to pro- than to anti-migration campaigns. … Only the largest newspaper in Europe – the tabloid newspaper Bild – changed its attitude to migration from very positive to fairly negative within a few months, most likely in order to cater to readers’ political preferences. For Hungary, we found that the attitude to migration is on average more negative than in Germany. … for the US, we found that, the average attitude to migration in the market for news is comparable to that in Germany. However, both the most positive and the most negative news outlet in the our US sample are fairly large, which suggests that the degree of polarization in this market is substantial“ (p. 29).

Food risks: Coping with Climate Shocks: Food Security in a Spatial Framework by Diogo Baptista, John Spray, and D. Filiz Unsal of the International Monetary Fund as of Aug. 23rd, 2023 (#6): “… we show that (i) climate shocks are already having large negative impacts on GDP, nutrition and welfare, (ii) these impacts are disproportionately harming those households which are remote and food insecure, (iii) poverty and food insecurity exacerbates the impact of shocks. We go on to show that policy to lower the cost of trade and migration can lower the impact from climate shocks by allowing households alternative sources of income and affordable food“ (p. 34/35).

Responsible investment research

Green risks: Greening the Economy: How Public-Guaranteed Loans Influence Firm-Level Resource Allocation by Bruno Buchetti, Ixart Miquel-Flores, Salvatore Perdichizzi, and Alessio Reghezza as of July 14th, 2023 (#185): “First, we established that European banks face a ”green-transition-risk,” as less polluting firms have higher probabilities of default (PDs) than their more polluting counterparts (browner firms). … This higher implicit risk, called ”green transition-risk,” leads to a natural preference for lending to more polluting firms (browner firms). Secondly, we discovered that deploying PGLs (Sö: Public-guaranteed loans) during the pandemic resulted in a relative increase in lending to greener firms … PGLs eliminate (or drastically reduce) the ”green-transition-risk“ (p. 25).

GHG data: A rapid review of GHG accounting standards by Jimmy Jia, Kaya Axelsson, Abrar Chaudhury, and Evan Taylor as of July 29th, 2023 (#52): “We did a rapid systematic review of GHG (Sö: Green house gas) accounting standards to find that all are derivative works of the GHG Protocol. Further, commonly used GHG accounting standards are based on three methodologies. We found that the field converges quickly and there are fewer options than expected …“ (abstract).

Biodiversity-hole: Biodiversity Confusion: The impact of ESG biodiversity ratings on asset prices by Wei Xin, Lewis Grant, Ben Groom, and  Chendi Zhang as of Aug. 14th, 2023 (#35): “The biodiversity components of ESG ratings are analysed …. biodiversity ratings are largely uncorrelated to firm characteristics other than via firm size, and do not predict stock returns. … A suite of tests suggests that biodiversity as measured in ESG ratings does not appear to provide useful additional information for financial decision makers“ (abstract).

Rules or fiduciary? EU ‚Rule-based‘ ESG Duties for Investment Funds and their Managers under the European ‚Green Deal‘ by Sebastiaan Niels Hooghiemstra as of Aug. 15th, 2023 (#269): “This contribution focusses on explaining that the recently introduced “ESG duties” for European investment funds and their managers under European financial regulatory laws can be classified as “rule-based ESG duties,” largely substituting traditional corporate law “ESG fiduciary duties” applying to European investment funds and their managers” (abstract). My comment: My fund is compliant with Article 9 SFDR and has a social focus. For investors many of the current reporting requirements are not very helpful.

Other investment research: AI risks

Social broadband: Broadband Internet and the Stock Market Investments of Individual Investors by Hans K. Hvide, Tom G. Meling, Magne Mogstad, and Ola L. Vestad as of Aug. 2nd, 2023 (#422): “We find that broadband use leads to increased stock market participation, to improved portfolio allocation for existing investors, and to increased participation in bonds, bond funds, and unlisted stocks. We do not find adverse effects of internet use; for example, access to high-speed internet does not lead to excessive stock trading among existing investors, except possibly for the very most active investors. … Over the broadband expansion period, we observe a broad trend towards increased internet-based information acquisition and learning. … the effects of broadband on stock market participation are stronger for younger, lower-income, and lower-wealth individuals, who have the lowest stock market participation rates and likely the lowest financial literacy to begin with …“ (p. 34/35). My comment: This is one reason why I include telecom infrastructure providers and servicers in my SDG-aligned portfolios.

Wrong measures? How Should Returns to Long Term Investors be Measured? by Hendrik Bessembinder, Te-Feng Chen, Goeun Choi, and John Wei as of Aug. 2nd, 2023 (#131) “Widely studied databases contain stock returns measured at the monthly horizon. The most common method of aggregating this information across multiple months is to compute arithmetic means of the monthly returns. … However, arithmetic mean returns are potentially very misleading as to investors’ experiences across multiple months. … We use a broad sample of over 71,000 stocks to demonstrate the extent to which conclusions regarding long-term investment performance can differ across measures, with the goal of guiding market observers to the measure that is most relevant for the task at hand”.

Listed PE: Thematic Investing With Big Data: The Case of Private Equity by Ludovic Phalippou as of March 13th, 2023 (#1159): “Using natural language processing, we score companies based on the frequency with which news articles contain both their names and terms Private Equity and Leveraged Buy-Out. An index is then created … with the weights set as a function of a company exposure to this theme. … this listed private equity index is highly correlated to commonly used private equity fund market indices …. In addition, our index has similar returns as non-tradable LBO fund indices” (abstract). My comment: Since many years, I include listed private equity in my alternatives allocations for traditional ETF-portfolios.

Good reporting: The Value of Publicly Available Information on Acquired Firms in Corporate Acquisitions by Dan Givoly, Songyi Han, and Sharon P. Katz as of July 5th, 2023 (#62): “Acquiring privately held firms enables acquirers to benefit from liquidity and information risk discounts extracted from the owners of private firms. The information risk arises from the information asymmetry between the acquirer and the private firm due to the lack of public information. … Our study analyzes the outcomes of acquisitions of three types of target firms: private firms, public firms, and quasi-private firms, i.e., privately-owned firms that are subject to financial reporting obligations. …. the outcomes of acquisitions … are significantly more favorable for the acquisition of quasi-private firms than for acquisitions of both public and private firms. Further, despite all the measures employed by acquirers to mitigate the higher information risk involved in acquiring private firms, including potential price discounts, they do not fully compensate for this added risk“ (p. 26/27).

Fin-MaL = Fin-Good? Financial Machine Learning by Bryan Kelly and Dacheng Xiu as of July 25th, 2023 (#22312): “We survey the nascent literature on machine learning in the study of financial markets. We highlight the best examples of what this line of research has to offer and recommend promising directions for future research. This survey is designed for both financial economists interested in grasping machine learning tools, as well as for statisticians and machine learners seeking interesting financial contexts where advanced methods may be deployed” (abstract). My comment: See my recent publication AI: Wie können nachhaltige AnlegerInnen profitieren? – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( or How can sustainable investors benefit from artificial intelligence? – GITEX Impact – Leading ESG Event 2023

OK crimes? Cybercrime on the Ethereum Blockchain by Lars Hornuf, Paul P. Momtaz, Rachel J. Nam, and Ye Yuan as of Aug. 15th, 2023 (#557): “We identify more than 1.78 million transactions that are externally verified to be linked to cybercrime, corresponding to an aggregate amount of $1.65 billion of funds lost. … we find that victims increase their overall risk-taking … we show that victim and cybercrime addresses differ systematically, leading to variation that can be exploited in predictive models to screen for cybercriminals ex ante“ (p. 39).

Geo-Engineering: oC Celsius (kostenpflichtig) ist der neueste Öko-Polit-Thriller von Marc Elsberg vom März 2023. Dabei geht es um Geo-Engineering und dessen potenziellen ökologischen und politischen Chancen und Risiken. Celsius ist kein wissenschaftliches Buch, aber es sollte zum Nachdenken anregen.


Advert for German investors:

Sponsor my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 29 of 30 engaged companiesFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T; also see Active or impact investing? – (


Active ESG Share: Illustration by Julie McMurrie from Pixabay showing a satisfaction rating

Active ESG share: Researchpost #136

Active ESG share: 26x new research on SDG, climate automation, family firms, greenium and green liquidity, anti-ESG, ESG-ratings, diversity, sustainability standards, disclosure, ESG pay, taxes, impact investing, and financial education by Martijn Cremers and many more (#: SSRN downloads as of July 27th, 2023)

Ecological and social research: Active ESG share

SDG deficits: The Sustainable Development Goals Report Special edition by the United Nations as of July 10th, 2023: “At the midpoint on our way to 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals are in deep trouble. An assessment of the around 140 targets for which trend data is available shows that about half of these targets are moderately or severely off track; and over 30 per cent have either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline. Under current trends, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030, and only about one third of countries will meet the target to halve national poverty levels. Shockingly, the world is back at hunger levels not seen since 2005, and food prices remain higher in more countries than in the period 2015–2019. The way things are going, it will take 286 years to close gender gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws. And in education, the impacts of years of underinvestment and learning losses are such that, by 2030, some 84 million children will be out of school and 300 million children or young people attending school will leave unable to read and write. … Carbon dioxide levels continue to rise – to a level not seen in 2 million years. At the current rate of progress, renewable energy sources will continue to account for a mere fraction of our energy supplies in 2030, some 660 million people will remain without electricity, and close to 2 billion people will continue to rely on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking. So much of our lives and health depend on nature, yet it could take another 25 years to halt deforestation, while vast numbers of species worldwide are threatened with extinction” (p. 4).

Climate automation: Labor Exposure to Climate Change and Capital Deepening by Zhanbing Xiao as of June 21st, 2023 (#31): “This paper looks into these risks and calls for more attention to the health issues of outdoor workers in the transition to a warmer era. … I find that high-exposure firms have higher capital-labor ratios, especially when their managers believe in climate change or when jobs are easy to automate. After experiencing shocks to physical (abnormally high temperatures) or regulatory (the adoption of the HIPS in California) risks, high-exposure firms switch to more capital-intensive production functions. …I also find that high-exposure firms respond to the shocks by innovating more, especially in technologies facilitating automation and reducing labor costs. … industry-wide evidence that labor exposure to climate change negatively affects job creation and workers’ earnings“ (p. 34/35).

Open or private data? Opening Up Big Data for Sustainability: What Role for Database Rights in the Fourth Industrial Revolution? by Guido Noto La Diega and Estelle Derclaye as of Nov. 8th, 2022 (#159): “… the real guardians of big data – the private corporations that are the key decision-makers in the 4IR (Sö: 4th Industrial Revolution) – are not doing enough to facilitate the sharing and re-use of data in the public interest, including the pursuit of climate justice. … While there may be instances where Intellectual Property (IP) reasons may justify some limitations in the access to and re-use of big data held by corporations, it is our view that, in general, IP should not be used to hinder re-use of data to pursue the SDGs. … First, we will illustrate the triple meaning of ‘data sustainability.’ Second, we will critically assess whether the database right (or ‘sui generis right’) can play a role in opening up corporate big data. Third, will imagine how a sustainable framework for sustainable data governance may look like. This focus is justified by the fact that the Database Directive, often accused of creating an unjustified monopoly on data, is in the process of being reformed by the yet-to-be-published Data Act” (abstract).

Clean family firms: Family Ownership and Carbon Emissions by Marcin Borsuk, Nicolas Eugster, Paul-Olivier Klein, and Oskar Kowalewski as of April 13th, 2023 (#159): “Family firms exhibit lower carbon emissions both direct and indirect when compared to non-family firms, suggesting a higher commitment to environmental protection by family owners. When using the 2015 Paris Agreement as a quasi-exogeneous shock, results show that family firms reacted more to the Agreement and recorded a further decline in their emissions. … Firms directly managed by the family experience a further reduction in their emissions. On the contrary, family firms with hired CEOs see an increase in emissions. We show that family firms record a higher level of R&D expenses, suggesting that they invest more in new technologies, which might contribute to reducing their environmental footprint. … Compared with non-family firms, family firms commit less to a reduction in their carbon emissions and display lower ESG scores“ (p. 26).

Green productivity: Environmental Management, Environmental Innovation, and Productivity Growth: A Global Firm-Level Investigation by Ruohan Wu as of June 18th, 2023 (#5): “… overall, environmental management and innovation both increase firm productivity but substitute for each other’s positive effects. Environmental management significantly increases productivity of firms that do not innovate, while environmental innovation significantly increases productivity of those without environmental management” (p. 30).

Good governance: Governance, Equity Issuance and Cash: New International Evidence by Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Hyunseok Kim, and Jungwon Suh as of May 9th, 2023 (#18): “… we hypothesize that equity issuance is more frequent and growth-inducing under strong governance than under weak governance. We also hypothesize that cash added to or held by equity issuers creates greater value for shareholders under strong governance than under weak governance. Our empirical results support these hypotheses. Most remarkably, under weak governance, cash assets not only fail to create but destroy value for shareholders if they are in the possession of equity issuers instead of non-equity-issuers. Overall, strong institutions help small growth firms unlock their value through active equity issuance. On the flip side, weak institutions render an economy’s capital allocation inefficient by hindering value-creating equity issuance” (abstract).

ESG Ratings Reearch: Active ESG Share

MSCI et al. criticism? ESG rating agency incentives by Suhas A. Sridharan, Yifan Yan, and Teri Lombardi Yohn as of June 19th, 2023 (#96): “First, we report that firms with higher (lower) stock returns receive higher (lower) ratings from a rater with high index incentives relative to ratings from a rater with low index incentives. … Second, the rater with high index incentives provides higher ESG ratings for smaller firms with less ESG disclosure. … Third, we show that ESG index inclusion decisions are associated with stock returns. Collectively, our findings suggest that ESG data providers’ index licensing incentives influence their ESG ratings“ (p. 22).

Anti-ESG ESG: Conflicting Objectives of ESG Funds: Evidence from Proxy Voting by Tao Li, S. Lakshmi Naaraayanan, and Kunal Sachdeva as of February 6th, 2023 (#840): “ESG funds reveal their preference for superior returns by voting against E&S proposals when it is uncertain whether these proposals will pass. … active ESG funds and non-ESG focused institutions are more likely to cast votes against E&S proposals” (p. 26).

Non-ESG ESG? What Does ESG Investing Mean and Does It Matter Yet? by Abed El Karim Farroukh, Jarrad Harford, and David Shin as of June 26th, 2023 (#77): “… even ESG-oriented funds often vote against shareholder proposals related to E&S issues. When considering portfolio holdings and turnover, firms added to portfolios have better ESG scores than those dropped for both ESG and non-ESG funds. Nevertheless, portfolio additions and deletions do not improve fund scores on a value-weighted basis, and those scores closely track the ESG score of a value weighed portfolio of all public firms. This suggests that while investment filters based on ESG criteria may exist, they rarely bind. … we find that material E&S proposals receive more support, but only a small proportion (4%) of these proposals actually pass. Lastly, unconditional support from funds associated with families that have signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI) would lead to a significant change in the voting outcomes of numerous E&S proposals. Overall, our findings suggest that the effects of ESG investing are growing but remain relatively limited. E&S proposals rarely pass, and the ESG scores of funds declaring ESG preferences are not that different from the rest of funds“ (p. 26).

ESG divergence: ESG Ratings: Disagreement across Providers and Effects on Stock Returns by Giulio Anselmi and Giovanni Petrella as of Jan. 23rd, 2023 (#237): “This paper examines the ESG rating assigned by two providers, Refinitiv and Bloomberg, to companies listed in Europe and the United States in the period 2010-2020. … Companies with higher ESG scores have the following characteristics: larger size, lower credit risk, and lower equity returns. The ESG dimension does not affect stock returns, once risk factors have been taken into account. The divergence of opinions across rating providers is stable in Europe and increasing in the US. As for the individual components (E, S and G), in both markets we observe a wide and constant divergence of opinions for governance as well as a growing divergence over time for the social component“ (abstract).

Active ESG share: The complex materiality of ESG ratings: Evidence from actively managed ESG funds by K.J. Martijn Cremers, Timothy B. Riley, and Rafael Zambrana as of July 21st,2023 (#1440): “Our primary contribution is to introduce a novel metric of the importance of ESG information in portfolio construction, Active ESG Share, which measures how different the full distribution of the stock-level ESG ratings in a fund’s portfolio is from the distribution in the fund’s benchmark … We find no predictive relation between Active ESG Share and performance among non-ESG funds and a strong, positive predictive relation between Active ESG Share and performance among ESG funds” (p. 41). My comment: My portfolios are managed independently from benchmarks and typically show significant positive active ESG shares, see e.g. Active or impact investing? – (

Responsible investment research: Active ESG share

Stupid ban? Do Political Anti-ESG Sanctions Have Any Economic Substance? The Case of Texas Law Mandating Divestment from ESG Asset Management Companies by Shivaram Rajgopal, Anup Srivastava, and Rong Zhao as of March 16th,2023 (#303): “Politicians in Texas claim that the ban on ESG-heavy asset management firms would penalize companies that potentially harm the state’s interest by boycotting the energy sector. We find little economic substance behind such claims or the reasoning for their ban. Banned funds are largely indexers with portfolio tilts toward information technology and away from energy stocks. Importantly, banned funds carry significant stakes in energy stocks and hold 61% of the energy stocks held by the control sample of funds. The risk and return characteristics of banned funds are indistinguishable from those of control funds. A shift from banned funds to control funds is unlikely to result in a large shift of retirement investments toward the energy sector. The Texas ban, and similar follow-up actions by Republican governors and senior officials, appear to lack significant economic substance“ (p. 23).

Better proactive: Gender Inequality, Social Movement, and Company Actions: How Do Wall Street and Main Street React? by Angelyn Fairchild, Olga Hawn, Ruth Aguilera, Anatoli Colicevm and Yakov Bart as of May 25th,2023 (#44): “We analyze reactions to company actions among two stakeholder groups, “Wall Street” (investors) and “Main Street” (the general public and consumers). … We identify 632 gender-related company actions and uncover that Wall Street and Main Street are surprisingly aligned in their negative reaction to companies’ symbolic-reactive actions, as evidenced by negative cumulative abnormal returns, more negative social media and reduced consumer perceptions of brand equity” (abstract)

Less risk? Socially Responsible Investment: The Role of Narrow Framing by Yiting Chen and Yeow Hwee Chua as of Dec. 8th, 2022 (#54): “Through our experiment, subjects allocate endowments among one risk-free asset and two risky assets. … Relative to the control condition, this risky asset yields additional payments for subjects themselves in one treatment, and for charities in the remaining two treatments. Our results show that additional payments for oneself encourage risk taking behavior and trigger rebalancing across different risky assets. However, payments for charities solely induce rebalancing“ (abstract). My comment: This may explain the typically lower risk I have seen in my responsible portfolios and in some research regarding responsible investments.

Greenium model: Asset Pricing with Disagreement about Climate Risks by Thomas Lontzek, Walter Pohl, Karl Schmedders, Marco Thalhammer, and Ole Wilms as of July 19th, 2023 (#113): “We present an asset-pricing model for the analysis of climate financial risks. … In our model, as long as the global temperature is below the temperature threshold of a tipping point, climate-induced disasters cannot occur. Once the global temperature crosses that threshold, disasters become increasingly likely. The economy is populated by two types of investor with divergent beliefs about climate change. Green investors believe that the disaster probability rises considerably faster than brown investors do. … The model simultaneously explains several empirical findings that have recently been documented in the literature. … according to our model past performance is not a good predictor of future performance. While realized returns of green stocks have gone up in response to negative climate news, expected returns have gone down simultaneously. In the absence of further exogenous shocks and climate-induced disasters, our model predicts higher future returns for brown stocks. However, if temperatures continue to rise and approach the tipping point threshold, the potential benefits of investments to slow down climate change increase significantly. In this scenario, our model predicts a significant increase in the market share of green investors and the carbon premium“ (p. 39/40).

More green liquidity: Unveiling the Liquidity Greenium: Exploring Patterns in the Liquidity of Green versus Conventional Bonds by Annalisa Molino, Lorenzo Prosperi, and Lea Zicchino as of July 16th, 2023 (#14): “… we investigate the relationship between liquidity and green bond label using a sample of green bonds issued globally. … our findings suggest that green bonds are more liquid than comparable ordinary bonds. … The difference is large and statistically significant for bonds issued by governments or supranationals, while it is not significantly different from zero for corporates, unless the company operates in the energy sector. … companies that certify their commitment to use the proceeds for green projects or enjoy a strong environmental reputation can also benefit from higher liquidity in the secondary market. … the liquidity of ECB-eligible green bonds improves relative to similar conventional bonds, possibly because they become more attractive to banks with access to ECB funding. Finally, we find that the liquidity of conventional bonds issued by green bond issuers improves significantly in the one-year period following the green announcement“ (p. 18/19).

Impact investment and shareholder engagement: Active ESG share

Standard overload: Penalty Zones in International Sustainability Standards: Where Improved Sustainability Doesn’t Pay by Nicole Darnall, Konstantinos Iatridis, Effie Kesidou, and Annie Snelson-Powell as of June 19th, 2023 (#17): “International sustainability standards (ISSs), such as the ISO standards, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Global Reporting Initiative framework, are externally certified process requirements or specifications that are designed to improve firms’ sustainability” (p. 1). “Adopting an International Sustainability Standard (ISS) helps firms improve their sustainability performance. It also acts as a credible market “signal” that legitimizes firms’ latent sustainability practices while improving their market value. … However, beyond a tipping point of 2 ISSs, firms’ market gains decline, even though their sustainability performance continues to improve until a tipping point of 3 ISSs“ (abstract).

Good ESG disclosure (1): Mandatory ESG Disclosure, Information Asymmetry, and Litigation Risk: Evidence from Initial Public Offerings by Thomas J. Boulton as of April 7th, 2023 (#168): “If ESG disclosure improves the information environment or reduces litigation risk for IPO firms, IPOs should be underpriced less when ESG disclosure is mandatory. I test this prediction in a sample of 15,456 IPOs issued in 36 countries between 1998 and 2018. … I find underpricing is lower for IPOs issued in countries that mandate ESG disclosure. From an economic perspective, my baseline results indicate that first-day returns are 15.9 percentage points lower in the presence of an ESG disclosure mandate. The typical IPO firm raises approximately 105.93 million USD in their IPO. Thus, the implied impact of an ESG disclosure mandate is an additional 16.8 million in proceeds. … I find that their impact on underpricing is stronger in countries with lower-quality disclosure environments. … a significant benefit of ESG disclosure mandates is that they lower the cost of capital for the young, high-growth firms that issue IPOs” (p. 27-29).

Good ESG disclosure (2): Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosure and Value Generation: Is the Financial Industry Different? by Amir Gholami, John Sands, and Habib Ur Rahman as of July 18th, 2023 (#24): “The results show that the overall association between corporate ESG performance disclosure and companies’ profitability is strong and positive across all industry sectors. … All corporate ESG performance disclosure elements (ENV, SOC and GOV) are positively associated with corporate profitability for companies that operate in the financial industry. Remarkably, for companies operating in non-financial sectors, except for corporate governance, there is no significant association between corporate environmental and social elements and a company’s profitability“ (p. 12).

Climate pay effects: Climate Regulatory Risks and Executive Compensation: Evidence from U.S. State-Level SCAP Finalization by Qiyang He, Justin Hung Nguyen, Buhui Qiu, and Bohui Zhang as of April 13th, 2023 (#131): “Different state governments in the U.S. have begun to adopt climate action plans, policies, and regulations to prepare for and combat the significant threats of climate change. The finalization of these climate action plans, policies, and regulations in a state results in an adaptation plan— the SCAP. … we find that SCAP finalization leads residents in that state to pay more attention to climate-related topics. Also, it leads firms headquartered in that state to have higher perceived climate regulatory risks … Further analyses show a reduction of total CEO pay of about 5% for treated firms headquartered in the SCAP-adopting state relative to control firms headquartered in non-adopting states. The negative treatment effect also holds for non-CEO executive compensation. … the shareholders of treated firms reduce their CEO’s profit-chasing and risk-taking incentives, probably because these activities will likely incur more future environmental compliance costs. Instead, CEO pay is more likely to be linked to corporate environmental performance, that is, the treated firms adopt environmental contracting to redirect CEO incentives from financial gains to environmental responsibility” (p. 27/28).

Stakeholder issues: Corporate Tax Disclosure by Jeffrey L. Hoopes, Leslie Robinson, and Joel Slemrod as of July 17th, 2023 (#47): “Policies that require, or recommend, disclosure of corporate tax information are becoming more common throughout the world, as are examples of tax-related information increasingly influencing public policy and perceptions. In addition, companies are increasing the voluntary provision of tax-related information. We describe those trends and place them within a taxonomy of public and private tax disclosure. We then review the academic literature on corporate tax disclosures and discuss what is known about their effects. One key takeaway is the paucity of evidence that many tax disclosures mandated with the aim of increasing tax revenue have produced additional revenue. We highlight many crucial unanswered questions …” (abstract). My comment: Nevertheless I suggest to focus on tax disclosure/payment regarding community/government stakeholder engagement see Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – ( rather than on donations or other indicators.

Impact investment status quo: Impact Investing by Ayako Yasuda as of July 23rd, 2023 (#62): “Impact investing is a class of investments that are designed to meet the non-pecuniary preferences of investors (or beneficiaries) and aim to generate a positive externality actively and causally through their ownership and/or governance of the companies they invest in. Impact investing emerged as a new branch of responsible, sustainable or ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investment universe in the last few decades. In this article, we provide a definition of impact investing, review the extant literature, and discuss suggestions for future research” (abstract).

Political engagement: Collaborative investor engagement with policymakers: Changing the rules of the game? by Camila Yamahaki and Catherine Marchewitz as of June 25th, 2023 (#44): “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. … 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. We encourage future research to further investigate these research propositions and to analyze potential conflicts of interest arising from policy engagement in emerging market jurisdictions” (abstract).

General investment research

Good diversity: Institutional Investors and Echo Chambers: Evidence from Social Media Connections and Political Ideologies by Nicholas Guest, Brady Twedt, and Melina Murren Vosse as of June 26th, 2023 (#62): “… we measure the ideological diversity of institutional investors’ surroundings using the social media connections and political beliefs of the communities where they reside” (p. 24/25). “Finally, firms whose investors have more likeminded networks exhibit substantially lower future returns. Overall, our results suggest that connections to people with diverse beliefs and information sets can improve the financial decision making of more sophisticated investors, leading to more efficient markets (abstract).

Good education: The education premium in returns to wealth by Elisa Castagno, Raffaele Corvino, and Francesco Ruggiero as of July 6th, 2023 (#17): “… we define as education premium the extra-returns to wealth earned by college-graduated individuals compared to their non-college graduated peers. We find that the education premium is sizeable … We find that an important fraction of the premium is due to the higher propensity for risk-taking and investing in the stock market of better educated individuals … we document a significantly higher propensity for well-diversified portfolios as well as a higher persistence in stock market participation over time of better educated individuals, and we show that both mechanisms positively and significantly contribute to the education premium” (p. 25).

Finance-Machines? Financial Machine Learning by Bryan T. Kelly and Dacheng Xiu as of July 26th, 2023 (#12): “We emphasize the areas that have received the most research attention to date, including return prediction, factor models of risk and return, stochastic discount factors, and portfolio choice. Unfortunately, the scope of this survey has forced us to limit or omit coverage of some important financial machine learning topics. One such omitted topic that benefits from machine learning methods is risk modeling. … Closely related to risk modeling is the topic of derivatives pricing. … machine learning is making inroads in other fields such as corporate finance, entrepreneurship, household finance, and real estate“ (p. 132/133). My comment: I do not expect too much from financial maschine learning. Simple approaches to investing often work better than pseudo-optimised ones, see e.g. Pseudo-optimierte besser durch robuste Geldanlagen ersetzen – Responsible Investment Research Blog (


Advert for German investors:

“Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement with currently 28 of 30 companies engagedFutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T

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).


Advert for German investors

“Sponsor” my research by investing in and/or recommending my global small/midcap mutual fund (SFDR Art. 9). The fund focuses on social SDGs and uses separate E, S and G best-in-universe minimum ratings and broad shareholder engagement (currently 27 of 30 companies engaged). The fund typically scores very well in sustainability rankings, e.g. see this free tool, and the risk-adjusted performance is relatively good: FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T. Also see Artikel 9 Fonds: Kleine Änderungen mit großen Wirkungen? – (