Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Love in the Time of COVID-19: The Resiliency of Environmental and Social Stocks

Author(s): Rui Albuquerque, Yrjo Koskinen, Shuai Yang and Chendi Zhang

Publication Date: April 2020

Keyword(s): COVID-19, Customer loyalty, ESG, market crash, Stock returns, trading volume and volatility

Programme Area(s): Financial Economics

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown brought about a massive slowdown of the economy and an unparalleled stock market crash. Using U.S. data, this paper explores how firms with high Environmental and Social (ES) ratings fare during the first quarter of 2020 compared to other firms. We show that stocks with high ES ratings have significantly higher returns, lower return volatilities, and higher trading volumes than other stocks. Firms with high ES ratings and high advertising expenditures perform especially well during the crash. This paper highlights the importance of ES policies in making firms more resilient during a time of crisis.

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Bibliographic Reference

Albuquerque, R, Koskinen, Y, Yang, S and Zhang, C. 2020. 'Love in the Time of COVID-19: The Resiliency of Environmental and Social Stocks'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.