Financial Performance of Socially Responsible Indices

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Abstract

This article analyzes rate-of-return and risk related to investments in socially responsible and conventional country indices. The socially responsible indices are the DJSI Korea, DJSI US and Respect Index, and the corresponding conventional country indices are the Korea Stock Exchange Composite KOSPI, Dow Jones Industrial Average and WIG20TR. We conclude that investing in the analyzed SRI indices do not yield systematically better results than investing in the respective conventional indices, both in terms of neoclassical risk and return rate.

This finding suggest that socially responsible investing should be assessed in terms of behavioral economics related to the psycho-social features of investors, rather than to simplified rational choices (based only on the risk and return rate analysis) that neoclassical economics assumes.

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