Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability
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Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability

Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen

The severe consequences of the global financial crisis 2008-2009 and numerous accounting frauds and financial scandals over the last fifteen years have let to calls for more ethical and responsible actions in all economic activities including consumption, investing, governance and regulation. Despite the fact that ethics in business and corporate social responsibility rules have been adopted in various countries, more efforts have to be devoted to motivate and empower more actors to integrate ethical behavior and rules in making business and managerial decisions. The Research Handbook of Finance and Sustainability will provide the readers but particularly investors, managers, and policymakers with comprehensive coverage of the issues at the crossroads of finance, ethics and sustainable development as well as proposed solutions, while focusing on three different levels: corporations, investment funds, and financial markets.
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Chapter 24: Value relevance of environmental, social and governance disclosure

Zuraida Zuraida, Muhammad Nurul Houqe and Tony van Zijl

Abstract

This chapter investigates the impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure by companies around the world on market value. Using a large sample of non-financial companies listed in 38 countries during the period 2008–12, we test for value relevance by employing the modified version of the Ohlson (1995) model developed by Collins, Pincus and Xie (1999). We find support for the value relevance of disclosure of ESG both in aggregate form and for its individual components. These findings support the expectation of disclosure theory that disclosure of relevant information (such as ESG) has a positive impact on value. The results are robust to several alternative specifications. Consistent with the finance literature on the impact of legal origin (La Porta, Lopez de Silanes and Shleifer, 2006), the results for ESG disclosure are stronger in common law countries. Our results provide new evidence for researchers, investors, and policy makers of the value relevance of ESG disclosure in a broad international setting. The evidence shows that globally investors benefit from the disclosure of both aggregate ESG and the individual factors and this supports regulators in pushing companies to provide additional ESG information.

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