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Causal effect of analyst following on corporate social responsibility

Binay K. Adhikari

Journal of Corporate Finance, 2016, vol. 41, issue C, 201-216

Abstract: I examine the influence of sell-side financial analysts on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and find that firms with greater analyst coverage tend to be less socially responsible. To establish causality, I employ a difference-in-differences (DiD) technique, using brokerage closures and mergers as exogenous shocks to analyst coverage, as well as an instrumental variables approach. Both identification strategies suggest that analyst coverage has a negative causal effect on CSR. Analyst coverage seems to influence CSR activities via analysts' influence on the value of managerial ownership and discretionary spending. My findings are consistent with the view that spending on CSR is a manifestation of an agency problem and that financial analysts curb such discretionary spending by disciplining managers.

Keywords: Analyst following; Monitoring; Corporate social responsibility (CSR) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:41:y:2016:i:c:p:201-216