ESG variety: Picture by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

ESG variety: Researchpost 172

Picture: „The Hands of Children“ by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

ESG variety: 12x new research on migration, climate politics, ESG (regulation, risk, disclosure, weigthings, ratings), Norwegian ESG, climate data, stewardship, impact measurement, and altruists (#shows the number of SSRN full paper downloads as of April 18th, 2024).

Social and ecological research

Migration to Germany: Walls, Not Bridges: Germany’s Post-WWII Journey with Refugee Integration by Noah Babel and Jackson Deutch as of Dec. 19th, 2023 (#15): “Given projections that by 2060, a third of its populace will be over 65, the economic argument for integrating a refugee workforce to counter labor shortages is compelling. However, current administrative measures like language proficiency assessments and residency restrictions inadvertently cast refugees as outsiders, hindering true integration. … Prolonged waits for asylum decisions, often extending for years, coupled with employment limitations, don’t just hamper economic advancement, they socially isolate refugees“ (p. 8).

Brown politics: The Behavioral Economics and Politics of Global Warming – Unsettling Behaviors Elements in Quantitative Finance by Hersh Shefrin as of Dec. 12th, 2023 (#50): “.. there is evidence that carbon continues to be priced in the range of 6 percent to 10 percent of its social cost …. Psychological biases, especially present bias, lie at the root of my analysis of the big behavioral question. In particular, these biases explain the reluctance to use taxes to price GHGs in line with their respective social costs. This reluctance is an unsettling behavior, and results in abatement being more costly than necessary, plausibly by a factor of five to seven. The cost of reluctance is a behavioral cost, and it is large“ (p. 108).

Good ESG regulation: Cross-border Impact of ESG Disclosure Mandate: Evidence from Foreign Government Procurement Contracts by Yongtae Kim, Chengzhu Sun, Yi Xiang, and Cheng (Colin) Zeng as of April 12th, 2024 (#30): “We find robust evidence that firms from countries mandating ESG disclosure are more likely to secure foreign governments’ procurement contracts with higher values than counterparts in non-regulated countries” (p. 33).

ESG investment research (in: ESG variety)

Financial ESG risk: Market Risk Premium and ESG Risk by Joey Daewoung, Yong Kyu Gam, Yong Hyuck Kim, Dmitriy Muravyev, and Hojong Shin as of April 12th, 2024 (#29): “Using a panel dataset consisting of US firms for 2010-2021, we find that the stock market beta is positively related to average returns on the days when investors learn about negative ESG incidents that affect the market as a whole. Specifically, we report that the CAPM-implied market risk premium is, on average, 31.52 bps on ESG days, which is, on average, 32.92 bps higher than the market risk premium on non-ESG days (-1.40 bps). The magnitude of the market risk premium is both statistically and economically significant, and robust across different model specifications. Our findings contribute to the existing literature by showing that the ESG risk is systematic and priced” (p. 16).

ESG weighting issues: Comparing ESG Score Weighting Approaches and Stock Performance Differentiation by Matthias Muck and Thomas Schmidl as of April 12th, 2024 (#22): “… we compare the performance differences of stocks sorted according to ESG scores that utilize the same categories but have different weightings. … Interestingly, an uninformed, equally weighted score leads to larger performance differences compared to Refinitiv’s data-driven weighted score. … As a robustness check, we consider the Paris Agreement as an exogenous event. … the post-Agreement increase in performance differentiation is likely due to investors’ recognition that sustainability information is indeed relevant for stock pricing” (p. 7). My comment: I use separate (Best-in-Universe) E, S and G Scores for stock selection. Unfortunately, I have seen very few studies suing such separate scores so far.

ESG disclosure differences: The impact of real earning management and environmental, social, and governance transparency on financing costs by Adel Necib, Malek El Weriemmi and Anis Jarboui as of April 10th, 2024 (#21): “We use a fixed effects panel data analysis to examine 97 firm-year observations of UK firms from 2014 to 2023. According to the research, investors place a lower value on ESG disclosure and increase the price of shares, whilst lenders view it favourably and reduce the cost of debt“ (abstract).

Mind the ESG-downgrade: ESG rating score revisions and stock returns by Rients Galema and Dirk Gerritsen as of March 26th, 2024 (#470): “Because the main users of ESG ratings typically adopt a low rebalancing frequency, we study the effect of ESG rating revisions on stock returns in a period of up to six months. We consider all ESG rating revisions issued by one of the largest ESG rating providers and we present evidence that both ESG and E rating downgrades are followed by six-month negative buy-and-hold abnormal returns in the magnitude of 2.5% to 3% (annualized). For larger downgrades, this effect becomes even more pronounced: Around 4.5% per year. We find that the effect of the E rating is most robust because we can confirm its significance in a calendar-time portfolio analysis. We conclude from additional analyses (i.e., mid-cycle versus annual revisions; pre-event trends) that these BHARs would not have materialized in the absence of rating revisions, despite the fact that rating revisions rely to a large extent on public information. … changes in a quarterly updated sustainable investment index based on ESG ratings explain part of the effect of E rating changes on abnormal returns. Second, institutional investors adjust their portfolios in response to decreases in E ratings. … we show that return volatility slightly increases following both ESG downgrades and E downgrades, a finding which is congruent with a reduced commitment from long-term institutional investors“ (p. 26/27). My comment: I use E, S and G Ratings downgrades (Best-in-Universe) to divest from stocks, see Divestments: 49 bei 30 Aktien meines Artikel 9 Fonds – Responsible Investment Research Blog ( or “Engagementreport” here FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T

Norwegian ESG? The ESG commitment of the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund: Is the socially responsible behaviour of companies considered in its investment strategy? by Iván Arribas, Fernando García García, and Javier Oliver Muncharaz as of April 11th, 2024 (#12): “… only seven of the leading sovereign wealth funds include ESG metrics in their investment process. The group includes the Norwegian GPFG, which is the biggest sovereign wealth fund worldwide in terms of assets under management. … findings suggest that favourable ESG performance of firms does have a positive impact on the probability of inclusion in the investment portfolio of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. Notably, environmental performance is significant. Moreover, the GPFG’s criteria in relation to greenhouse gas emissions for companies in the electricity sector result in a lower probability of these firms becoming part of the fund’s investment portfolio compared with other industry sectors” (p. 20). My comment: The Norwegian SWF still invest in many companies and therefore has to compromise. Smaller investor can focus much better on demanding sustainability criteria, see 30 stocks, if responsible, are all I need – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Climate data issues: Climate Data in the Investment Process: Challenges, Resources, and Considerations by Andres Vinelli, Deborah Kidd, CFA, and Tyler Gellasch from the CFA Institute as of April 2024: “Before the maturation of accounting standards, financial data were imperfect for many years and are still imperfect for companies in emerging markets, where accounting and financial reporting practices are evolving. As with financial data, climate-related data availability and quality have improved over recent years and will continue to improve. In the meantime, investors should apply the same data interpretation, checks, and management techniques that they apply when working with other sets of estimated or incomplete data—such as validating data by cross-checking with original source data, understanding data provider methodologies (where disclosed), diversifying sources of data where possible, and using qualitative information and judgment as needed to fill in the gaps. … To help improve the current state of climate-related data, investors can participate in standards-setting processes, encourage issuers to voluntarily adopt standards, and advocate for high-quality, globally consistent disclosure regulations” (p. 13).

Impact investment research (in: ESG Variety)

Stewardship dilution?  ESG, Sustainability Disclosure, and Institutional Investor Stewardship by Giovanni Strampelli as of April 10th, 2024 (#20): “Several sets of sustainability standards have been adopted internationally. The European Commission recently adopted the CSRD, which places more stringent obligations and expanded the scope of companies, including unlisted ones, required to publish sustainability reports. … While such sustainability-related disclosure requirements may create a “name-and-shame” obligation for companies to take initiatives to improve their ESG performance, it is doubtful that such obligations can promote ESG-related stewardship activities by institutional investors. … the regulatory framework is still fragmented and there are differences between the various sustainability disclosure sets, concerning in particular the notion of materiality, which make it difficult to compare sustainability reports prepared under different standards. For these reasons, institutional investors rely on ESG ratings and indices for the purposes of their investment and stewardship strategies. … the choice of nonactivist institutional investors to focus part of their engagement initiatives on sustainability disclosure, requiring, for example, a higher degree of transparency or the adoption of a certain set of reporting, appears to be dictated by a desire to avoid more incisive initiatives (perceived as more aggressive) aimed directly at encouraging change in the environmental strategies or policies of the companies concerned” (p. 22/23). My comment: My broad and deep stewardship process see Shareholder engagement: 21 science based theses and an action plan – ( or in “Nachhaltigkeitsinvestmentpolitik” here FutureVest Equity Sustainable Development Goals R – DE000A2P37T6 – A2P37T

Impact measurement: The Evolution of Impact Accounting and Utilization of Logic-Model in Corporate Strategy by Reona Sekino, Toshiyuki Imamura, and Yumiko Miwa as of Dec. 4th, 2023 (#77): “After discussing the existing methods for impact management, the article focuses on practical issues and investor engagement in impact management by companies. This article also makes recommendations on practical methods based on the current situation and issues. Specifically, this article proposes a method that integrates an Impact-Weighted Accounts framework that can quantify impact in a generalized format and a Logic Model that can visualize the ripple effects of corporate activities and clarify business strategies and value creation stories, thereby making it possible for stakeholders to evaluate impact. In addition, this article makes sample analysis to discuss the usefulness and challenges of the methodology“ (abstract). My comment: This article also includes interesting impact examples, see also Impactaktien-Portfolio mit 80% SDG-Vereinbarkeit? – Responsible Investment Research Blog (

Other investment research (in: ESG Variety)

Risk-taking altruists: How Altruism Drives Risk-Taking by Dan Rubin, Diogo Hildebrand, Sankar Sen, and Mateo Lesizza as of Dec. 1st, 2023 (#51): “Individuals motivated by altruism often put themselves in harm’s way in helping others. … The first explanation, predicated on risk activation, suggests that altruism decreases risk perception by impeding the activation of self-risk information, leading to reduced risk perception and increased risk-taking. Alternatively, the second explanation implies that altruism may increase risk-discounting, whereby the importance of risk is downplayed when deciding whether to help others. Results of three studies … provide strong evidence for the risk-activation account and establish substantive boundaries for this effect“ (abstract).


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