Does ESG Negative Screening Work?

Robert G. Eccles, Shivaram Rajgopal, Jing Xie

2019 | Academic | Portfolio Construction, Risk & Performance

We revisit the firm value and pricing implications of the negative screening of sin stocks. Unlike prior work, we find that institutional ownership and valuations related to sin stocks are not different from those of other stocks after controlling for differences in fundamentals between sin and non-sin stocks. Sin stocks do not differ in the likelihood of exiting the public market, the cost of raising new equity, and in the announcement returns around negative ESG news relative to non-sin stocks, casting further doubt on whether negative screening hurts sin stocks.