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 (prof-soehnholz.com)
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).
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