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Is Corporate Social Responsibility investing a free lunch? The relationship between ESG, tail risk, and upside potential of stocks before and during the COVID-19 crisis

Hans Lööf (), Maziar Sahamkhadam and Andreas Stephan ()

Finance Research Letters, 2022, vol. 46, issue PB

Abstract: Did Corporate Social Responsibility investing benefit shareholders during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis? Distinguishing between downside tail risk and upside reward potential of stock returns, we provide evidence from 5,073 stocks listed on stock markets in ten countries. The findings suggest that better ESG ratings are associated with lower downside risk, but also with lower upside return potential. Thus, ESG ratings helped investors to reduce their risk exposure to the market turmoil caused by the pandemic, while maintaining the fundamental trade-off between risk and reward.

Keywords: ESG; COVID 19; Downside risk; Upside potential; Sustainalytics; Financial markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 G11 G14 G32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:finlet:v:46:y:2022:i:pb:s1544612321004748

DOI: 10.1016/j.frl.2021.102499

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