An independent think tank that conducts and disseminates research on ESG and finance

PCAOB Inspection Reports and Shareholder Ratification of the Auditor

We examine the effect of unfavorable PCAOB inspection reports, which contain audit deficiencies related to GAAS and/or GAAP violations, on shareholder voting for the auditor ratification. We further investigate whether shareholders likely vote against ratification for the auditors receiving deficiency reports in a weak corporate governance environment. Overall, we do not find evidence that shareholders [...]

By | March 30th, 2018|New research|0 Comments

High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG): Final Report 2018

The European Commission established the EU High-Level Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) to help develop an overarching and comprehensive EU roadmap on sustainable finance. It requested advice on how to ‘steer the flow of capital towards sustainable investments; identify steps that financial institutions and supervisors should take to protect the financial system from sustainability risks; [...]

By | March 2nd, 2018|New research|0 Comments

UNCTAD/ISAR publishes research paper by Center for ESG Research: Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals

“The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges,” As noted in the SDG Compass. But if neither the corporate nor its capital providers can accurately and easily interpret information from Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, is ESG reporting really [...]

By | March 2nd, 2018|New research|0 Comments

Insights from the Reporting Exchange: ESG reporting provisions trends

The research conducted as part of the Reporting Exchange project supports the existing argument that the variety and overlap of corporate reporting provisions make this field complicated and confusing 1,2. The research has allowed us to draw the conclusions outlined in this paper: • There are currently over 1000 reporting requirements for sustainability information, representing [...]

By | March 2nd, 2018|New research|0 Comments

The Role of Information Asymmetry in CSR Reporting: A Comparison of Publicly-Traded and Privately-Held Firms

There is no consensus in the literature regarding what motivates firms to voluntarily publish corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports or who are the intended audiences of such reports. To help address this gap in the literature, I test whether the degree of information asymmetry between the firm and its owners is a significant factor contributing [...]

By | March 2nd, 2018|New research|0 Comments

Credibility of Sustainability Reports: The Contribution of Audit Committees

Concerns about the credibility of sustainability reports can be mitigated through assurance. Although audit committee remit encompasses monitoring of sustainability issues, there are potential complementary and substitution between governance mechanisms. This paper explores the relationship between audit committees and sustainability reporting assurance using resource dependency theory. We find audit committee characteristics have an impact, additional [...]

By | March 2nd, 2018|New research|0 Comments

The Impact of Top Executive Gender on Asset Prices: Evidence from Stock Price Crash Risk

We examine the implication of executive gender on asset prices. Using a large sample of US public firms during 2006--2015, we find a negative association between female CFOs and future stock price crash risk. However, the impact of female CEOs on crash risk is not statistically significant. The results support the notion that CFOs play [...]

By | January 29th, 2018|New research|0 Comments

The Burden of Attention: CEO Publicity and Tax Avoidance

We use search volume index (SVI) for a CEO’s name and stock ticker from Google Trends to measure CEO publicity, and examine the competing hypotheses on its relation to tax avoidance. On the one hand, CEOs who receive more attention from retail investors may engage in tax evasion activities to meet investors’ performance expectations; on [...]

By | January 29th, 2018|New research|0 Comments

Moderating Powerful CEOs through Improved Governance

This paper interfaces with two controversies in the literature: how to reign in powerful CEOs, and whether and when shareholders gain governance mandates, such as those in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 and NYSE/NASDAQ listing rules. We use the concurrent passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 and NYSE/NASDAQ listing rule changes as [...]

By | January 29th, 2018|New research|0 Comments