Companies have taken the initiative to be socially responsible over the years. In the past, the focus for companies has been on maximizing wealth. With the growth of corporate social responsibility (CSR), there has been many debates regarding its benefits. More companies are beginning to realize the value of being socially responsible and how critical it is to business function. This paper researches past studies on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance. This relationship is then tested using a reliable source of data on corporate social responsibility performance. This study uniquely looks at the accounting and market-based measurements of financial performance. The dataset includes most of the S&P 500 firms and covers years 2005-2014. An empirical model is constructed which includes factors that were found significant in the works of Capon, Farley, and Hoenig (1990). The relationships are tested using cross-sector/panel data time-series regressions. Results indicate that CSR and the accounting measurements of financial performance are positively related. CSR and the market-based measurements of financial performance are negatively related. This suggests that CSR positively affects a company’s profits and negatively affects future stock returns. One interpretation of this result is that socially responsible stocks have a lower required rates of return. The results indicate that since investors are more willing to invest in CSR stocks, these firms end up experiencing lower future stock returns. The results are consistent with past studies and support the hypotheses.
Bachelor Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)
College of Business Administration
Department of Finance
Orlando (Main) Campus
Mentor, Marly, "The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Financial Performance" (2016). Honors in the Major Theses. 47.