Increasingly, U.S. firms voluntarily issue standalone corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports to demonstrate to society a commitment to social and environmental activities (Bebbington, Larrinaga, & Moneva, 2008; Erusalimsky, Gray, & Spence, 2006). To ascertain the effect of standalone CSR reports on investors, we compared the association between CSR performance scores and subsequent stock returns for firms that issue standalone CSR reports versus those that do not. Consistent with a signaling perspective (Akerlof, 1970), we found that firms that voluntarily issue standalone CSR reports have a stronger association between total CSR and CSR strengths and subsequent stock returns than firms that do not. Our findings indicated that investors are relying on standalone CSR reports because they reward CSR performance for firms that issue standalone CSR reports CSR performance for those that do not issue standalone CSR reports.
LaGore, W., Mahoney, L. and Thorne, L. (2015), "Standalone Corporate Social Responsibility Reports and Stock Market Returns", Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1574-076520150000019001
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