The Bond Market Benefits of Corporate Social Capital

The Bond Market Benefits of Corporate Social Capital

Hami Amiraslani, Karl Lins, Henri Servaes, Ane Tamayo

Series number :

Serial Number: 
535/2017

Date posted :

September 11 2017

Last revised :

February 10 2021
SSRN Share

Keywords

  • CSR • 
  • social capital • 
  • trust • 
  • corporate bonds • 
  • bond spreads • 
  • financial crisis • 
  • agency costs of debt.

We investigate whether a firm’s social capital, and the trust that it engenders, are viewed favorably by bondholders. Using firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to proxy for social capital, we find no relation between CSR and bond spreads over the period 2006-2019.

However, during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, which represents a shock to trust and default risk, high-CSR firms benefited from lower bond spreads. These effects are stronger for firms with higher expected agency costs of debt and firms whose CSR efforts are more salient. During the crisis, high-CSR firms were also able to raise more debt at lower spreads and for longer maturities.

Authors

Professor
Real name:
Karl Lins
University of Utah
Real name:
Ane Tamayo