This study examines the impact of corporate social performance (CSP) on the spreads and credit ratings of corporate bonds on a global scale. The relationship is examined within the national legal and institutional environment and with regard to specific stakeholder practices. We construct and use a unique longitudinal, international dataset with a total of 5,280 bond issues dating from 2003 to 2018 and spanning 40 countries worldwide. We provide evidence that more responsible firms benefit from lower bond spreads and improved bond ratings, while a higher degree of CSR-related controversies penalizes firms on both dimensions. Various, but not all, stakeholder relationships appear to generate a significant impact on spreads and bond ratings, with shareholders remaining crucial in both civil and common law countries, opposite to literature findings so far. Corporate governance is corroborated as a primary concern also in the debt market for common law economies, while societal stakeholders assume significance for civil law systems. Finally, findings highlight that stronger regulation and government involvement do not further promote the role of CSP in the debt market. On the other hand, free public criticism and media scrutiny generate a more pronounced effect of CSP on bond pricing providing support for the rewards associated with voluntary and proactive CSR.

This study examines the impact of corporate social performance (CSP) on the spreads and credit ratings of corporate bonds on a global scale. The relationship is examined within the national legal and institutional environment and with regard to specific stakeholder practices. We construct and use a unique longitudinal, international dataset with a total of 5280 bond issues dating from 2003 to 2018 and spanning 40 countries worldwide. We provide evidence that more responsible firms benefit from lower bond spreads and improved bond ratings, while a higher degree of CSR-related controversies penalizes firms on both dimensions. Various, but not all, stakeholder relationships appear to generate a significant impact on spreads and bond ratings, with shareholders remaining crucial in both civil and common law countries, opposite to literature findings so far. Corporate governance is corroborated as a primary concern also in the debt market for common law economies, while societal stakeholders assume significance for civil law systems. Finally, findings highlight that stronger regulation and government involvement do not further promote the role of CSP in the debt market. On the other hand, free public criticism and media scrutiny generate a more pronounced effect of CSP on bond pricing providing support for the rewards associated with voluntary and proactive CSR.

CSR in the bond market: Pricing stakeholders and the moderating role of the institutional context

Salvi, Antonio
;
Giakoumelou, Anastasia
;
Bertinetti, Giorgio Stefano
;
2020

Abstract

This study examines the impact of corporate social performance (CSP) on the spreads and credit ratings of corporate bonds on a global scale. The relationship is examined within the national legal and institutional environment and with regard to specific stakeholder practices. We construct and use a unique longitudinal, international dataset with a total of 5,280 bond issues dating from 2003 to 2018 and spanning 40 countries worldwide. We provide evidence that more responsible firms benefit from lower bond spreads and improved bond ratings, while a higher degree of CSR-related controversies penalizes firms on both dimensions. Various, but not all, stakeholder relationships appear to generate a significant impact on spreads and bond ratings, with shareholders remaining crucial in both civil and common law countries, opposite to literature findings so far. Corporate governance is corroborated as a primary concern also in the debt market for common law economies, while societal stakeholders assume significance for civil law systems. Finally, findings highlight that stronger regulation and government involvement do not further promote the role of CSP in the debt market. On the other hand, free public criticism and media scrutiny generate a more pronounced effect of CSP on bond pricing providing support for the rewards associated with voluntary and proactive CSR.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3725839
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