Does Money Talk? Market Discipline through Selloffs and Boycotts

Does Money Talk? Market Discipline through Selloffs and Boycotts

Nickolay Gantchev, Mariassunta Giannetti, Rachel Li

Series number :

Serial Number: 
634/2019

Date posted :

October 16 2019

Last revised :

October 16 2019
SSRN Share

Keywords

  • Corporate Social Responsibility • 
  • institutional investors • 
  • culture • 
  • Environment • 
  • Corporate governance

Using a novel dataset of negative news coverage of the environmental and social (E&S) practices of firms around the world, we show that customers and investors can provide market discipline and impose their ethical standards on firm policies.

Investors sell firms with heightened E&S risk, especially if they are from E&S conscious countries or hold portfolios with high sustainability ratings. Similarly, heightened E&S risk is associated with a drop in firms’ sales in E&S conscious countries. This behavior of E&S conscious investors and customers leads to declines in stock prices, which push firms to improve their E&S policies in the years following negative realizations of E&S risk. Overall, our results indicate that customers and shareholders are able to impose their social preferences on firms, suggesting that market discipline works.

Authors

Real name:
Rachel Li