Signaling through Corporate Accountability Reporting
We document that corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) expenditures are not a form of corporate charity nor do they improve future financial performance. Rather, firms undertake CSR expenditures in the current period when they anticipate stronger future financial performance. We show that the causality of the positive association between CSR expenditures and future firm performance differs from what is claimed in the vast majority of the literature and that corporate accountability reporting is another channel through which outsiders may infer insiders’ private information about firms’ future financial prospects.
Lys, Thomas, James Naughton and Clare Wang. 2015. Signaling through Corporate Accountability Reporting. Journal of Accounting and Economics. 60(1): 56-72.