The University of Oldenburg in Germany has together with GES Investment Services Switzerland started a research project on the financial implications of corporate social responsibility, employing a model that strive to find the missing link between previous studies.

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Lopatta and Thomas Kaspereit M. A. from the University of Oldenburg will investigate the effects of corporate sustainability and sustainability reporting on the market value of MSCI World companies. For this they have chosen to use GES Risk Ratings because of “their deep coverage of the world stock markets, their acceptance in portfolio management practice and their consistent rating methodology”.

The study is closely related to similar research previously done by SIRP (Sustainable Investment Research Platform), who also have used GES’ data and received large international recognition for their findings. However, the researchers from the University of Oldenburg will expand their study in two ways: Firstly, they will employ a model (panel analysis) that allows tracing the different perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility through time. Secondly, they will expand the sample to the world stock markets.

Thomas Kaspereit explains what they hope to find that has not been found before:

“Previous studies show mixed results. For instance, Hassel/Nilsson/Nyquist (2005, European Accounting Review) measure a negative relationship for the Swedish stock market. Nonetheless, a follow-up study by Semenova/Hassel/Nilsson (2009, SIRP/MISTRA) finds the opposite for the same market. The missing link could probably be time. It seems as if the perception of corporate sustainability by capital markets has changed over time, from negative in the past to positive in present. We want to test this hypothesis for the world stock market using the unique dataset provided by GES.”

First results from their research are expected at the end of 2011.

For more information, please contact:
Patrick Wirth, Managing Director, GES Switzerland