Blasi S., Caporin M., Fontini F. (2018)

A Multidimensional Analysis of the Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Firms’ Economic Performance. Ecological Economics147, 218-229.


This paper analyses the relationship between firms’ Corporate Social Responsibility activities and their economic performance, taking into account seven macro-categories of corporate social responsibility (CSR), six market-based and accounting-based performance indicators and by disaggregating for the firms’ sector of activity. In particular, through a representative sample of 988 US-based companies from nine different sectors (Basic Materials, Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, Financials, Health Care, Industrial, Oil & Gas, Technology and Utilities), we study the dynamics of possible endogenous and non-linear relationships through the Arellano-Bond technique in the dynamic panel. The results show some common patterns and sectorial specificities—CSR engagement in general raises firms’ total stock returns and reduces financial risks, but this depends on the area of CSR in which the firms invest. The results of an accounting-based figure analysis are less univocal, showing patterns that depend both on the specific area of CSR and the sectorial activities conducted.