To manage climate risks, investors need reliable climate exposure metrics. This need is particularly acute for climate risks along the supply chain, where such risks are recognized as important, but difficult to measure. We propose an intuitive metric that quantifies the exposure a company has to customers, or suppliers, who may in turn be exposed to climate risks. We show that such risks are not captured by traditional climate data. For example, a company may seem green on a standalone basis, but may still have meaningful, and potentially material, climate risk exposure if it has customers, or suppliers, whose activities could be impaired by transition or physical climate risks. Our metric is related to scope 3 emissions and may help capture economic activities such as emissions offshoring. However, while scope 3 focuses on products sold to customers and supplies sourced from suppliers, our metric captures the strength of economic linkages and the overall climate exposure of a firm’s customers and suppliers. Importantly, the data necessary to compute our measure is broadly accessible and is arguably of a higher quality than the currently available scope 3 data. As such, our metric’s intuitive definition and transparency may be particularly appealing for investors.
This study focuses on the launch phase of the leading reward-based crowdfunding market—Kickstarter. It documents the behavior of male and female entrepreneurs in raising early stage capital. We find that women share as entrepreneurs in the platform (34.7%) does not equal to their share in the overall population, and they are concentrated in stereotyped sectors, both as entrepreneurs and as backers. We also find that women do not set lower funding goals than men, they enjoy higher rates of success than men, even after controlling for project categories and funding goals, and that backers of both genders have a tendency to fund entrepreneurs of their own gender. Our survey of Kickstarter backers finds evidence of taste-based discrimination by male backers.
Of the $69.1 trillion global financial assets under management across mutual funds, hedge funds, real estate, and private equity, fewer than 1.3% are managed by women and people of color. Why is this powerful, elite industry so racially homogenous? We conducted an online experiment with actual asset allocators to determine whether there are biases in their evaluations of funds led by people of color, and, if so, how these biases manifest. We asked asset allocators to rate venture capital funds based on their evaluation of a 1-page summary of the fund’s performance history, in which we manipulated the race of the managing partner (White or Black) and the strength of the fund’s credentials (stronger or weaker). Asset allocators favored the White-led, racially homogenous team when credentials were stronger, but the Black-led, racially diverse team when credentials were weaker. Moreover, asset allocators’ judgments of the team’s competence were more strongly correlated with predictions about future performance (e.g., money raised) for racially homogenous teams than for racially diverse teams. Despite the apparent preference for racially diverse teams at weaker performance levels, asset allocators did not express a high likelihood of investing in these teams. These results suggest first that underrepresentation of people of color in the realm of investing is not only a pipeline problem, and second, that funds led by people of color might paradoxically face the most barriers to advancement after they have established themselves as strong performers.
“Employees are our greatest asset” is a phrase often heard from companies. However, due to accounting rules requiring that most expenditures related to employees be treated as costs and expensed as incurred, the value of employees is an intangible asset that does not appear on any balance sheet. That leaves the interesting question of whether employee satisfaction provides information on future returns.
There is a “Pink” elephant in the room. The paucity of women in the key investment and decisión-making roles in finance is that “pink” elephant. While women are represented at 33%, 37%, and 63% in the law, medical, and accounting professions, respectively (Morningstar 2016), the percentage of female investment decision-makers in investment pales in comparison at less than 10%. And it gets worse if we look at sub-sectors. Take private equity, it’s 6% (Lietz, 2011), hedge funds at 3% (Soloway, 2011), or investment banking documented in this scorecard, at a global median of 0%.
After 40 years or so, quantitative investing has evolved into a thriving practice. A major feature of the quantitative approach involves developing underlying numerical models and testing them on a historical (data) record and then forecasting where alpha may be embedded into the prices of a set of stocks. Whether you agree or disagree with this approach, it is difficult to deny that with the advanced state of data access and computational skill, “quants will win the day in ESG investing”. Such is the premise of this article and happily, it is accompanied by a compelling argument.
Carbon markets are quickly making their way to the forefront of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, as well as the finance community as a whole. The Kraneshares Global Carbon ETF, (Ticker: KRBN) (whose holdings I’ll dive into shortly) was one of the top 5 performing ETFs in 2021 on a % return basis (Ferringer, Best performing ETFs of the Year - etf.com). However, it doesn’t appear that 2021 was a one-hit-wonder for Carbon Markets, but instead, the beginning of a new and very real trend.
We will be hosting our 5th annual Democratize Quant conference later this month via Zoom. The event is 100% free but we do screen participants to enforce our "no spammers" policy. https://alphaarchitect.com/democratizequant/
In theory green stocks should have lower expected returns, this however, is not what we've seen. So the question is what has caused the outperformance of green stocks? And has that outperformance cost value investors their returns?
There was really only one question investigated in this research: Are social preferences and values the main drivers of an SRI investors' choice of SRI mutual funds?
Out of Sight No More? The Effect of Fee Disclosures on 401(k) Investment Allocations Kronlund, Pool, Sialm and StefanescuJournal of Financial Economics, 2021A version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of [...]
Sustainable investing has grown substantially in recent years, demonstrating that investor demand can be driven by nonfinancial issues such as environmental (E), social (S), and governance (G) characteristics. A full list of our posts on [...]
Aggregate Confusion: The divergence of ESG ratings Florian Berg, Julian F. Koelbel, and Roberto RigobonMIT Working PaperA version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance papers? Check out our [...]
Impact Investing: Killing Two Birds with One Stone? Caseau and GrolleauFinancial Analyst Journal, 2020A version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance papers? Check out our Academic Research Insight category What [...]
Decarbonizing Everything Alexander Cheema-Fox, Bridget Realmuto LaPerla, George Serafeim, David Turkington, & Hui (Stacie) WangFinancial Analysts JournalA version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance papers? Check out our [...]
While environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing continues to gain in popularity, economic theory suggests the share prices of “sin” businesses (typically those involved in the gambling, tobacco, alcohol, guns, and defense industries) will become [...]
Board Gender Diversity and Corporate Innovation: International Evidence Dale Griffin , Kai Li , and Ting XuJournal of Financial and Quantitative AnalysisA version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic [...]
Optimal Strategies for ESG Portfolios Fabio Alessandrini and Eric JondeauJournal of Portfolio ManagementA version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance papers? Check out our Academic Research Insight category [...]
ESG as Waving Banners and as Pulling Plows Meir StatmanJournal of Portfolio Management, 2020A version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance papers? Check out our Academic Research Insight category What [...]
Get Green or Die Trying? Carbon Risk Integration into Portfolio Management Maximilian Görgen, Andrea Jacob, and Martin NerlingerJournal of Portfolio ManagementA version of this paper can be found hereWant to read our summaries of academic finance [...]