ESG Investing: How to Optimize Impact?

Augustin Landier, Stefano Lovo

2023 | Academic | Impact Investing, Portfolio Construction

Can a self-proclaimed Socially Responsible Fund (SRF) whose objective is to maximize assets under management improve social welfare? We study this question in a general equilibrium two-sector model incorporating financial intermediation, negative externalities due to firms’ emissions, and investors' social preferences, which are of two kinds: (a) private benefits from investing in low-emission footprint equities (``value alignment''), and (b) utility from causing improvement in social welfare (``impact'').