Pricing Sin Stocks: Ethical Preference vs. Risk Aversion

Stefano Colonnello, Giuliano Curatola, Alessandro Gioffré

2018 | Academic | Investor Behavior, Risk & Performance

We develop a model that reproduces the average return and volatility spread between sin and non-sin stocks. Our investors do not necessarily boycott sin companies. Rather, they are open to invest in any company while trading off dividends against ethicalness. We show that when dividends and ethicalness are complementary goods and investors are sufficiently risk averse, the model predicts that the dividend share of sin companies exhibits a positive relation with the future return and volatility spreads. Our empirical analysis supports the model's predictions.