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Socially Responsible Investment: The Financial Performance of Spanish Equity Pension Plans

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets

ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1, eISBN: 978-1-78441-294-4

ISSN: 2051-5030

Publication date: 28 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Pension funds are demanding increasingly more information about the levels of corporate social responsibility achieved by companies through the use of corporate social responsibility reports to select which firms’ stocks to invest in. This could improve or reduce the financial performance achieved by pension plans. Therefore, this chapter examines the financial performance obtained by equity pension plans, distinguishing between solidarity pension plans, ethical pension plans and conventional pension plans.

Design/methodology/approach

We use a sample of 153 individual system pension plans (129 conventional pension plans, 6 solidarity pension plans and 18 ethical pension plans). Using these sample data, we implement the robust random effects panel data methodology.

Findings

The results show that ethical pension plans perform similarly to traditional pension plans, while solidarity pension plans significantly outperform conventional pension plans.

Research limitations/implications

We do not know what weights managers give to environmental, social and corporate governance criteria, which may influence the financial performance of pension plans.

Practical implications

The results of this study could be relevant for pension plan managers that may be considering the integration of ethical screening in their management strategies in order to offer differentiated products and for investors who would like to invest in ethical pension plans without compromising their financial performance.

Originality/value of the chapter

Previous studies have analysed the financial performance obtained by traditional and ethical funds, but in this chapter we compare the financial performance of traditional, solidarity and ethical pension plans.

Keywords

Citation

Martí-Ballester, C.-P. (2015), "Socially Responsible Investment: The Financial Performance of Spanish Equity Pension Plans", The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets (Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-503020140000016019

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited