The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

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Do Investors Value Sustainability? A Natural Experiment Examining Ranking and Fund Flows

Published: 08/09/2019   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12841


Examining a shock to the salience of the sustainability of the U.S. mutual fund market, we present causal evidence that investors marketwide value sustainability: being categorized as low sustainability resulted in net outflows of more than $12 billion while being categorized as high sustainability led to net inflows of more than $24 billion. Experimental evidence suggests that sustainability is viewed as positively predicting future performance, but we do not find evidence that high‐sustainability funds outperform low‐sustainability funds. The evidence is consistent with positive affect influencing expectations of sustainable fund performance and nonpecuniary motives influencing investment decisions.