Assessing SRI Fund Performance Research: Best Practices in Empirical Analysis

Sustainable Development

05-09-11 |

We review the socially responsible investment (SRI) mutual fund performance literature to provide best practices in SRI performance attribution analysis. Based on meta-ethnography and content analysis, five themes inthis literature require specific attention: data quality, social responsibility verification, survivorship bias, benchmarking, and sensitivity and robustness checks. For each of these themes, we develop best practices. Specifically, for sound SRI fund performance analysis, it is important that research pays attention to dividend yields and fees, incorporates independent and third party social responsibility verification, corrects for survivorship bias and tests multiple benchmarks, as well as analyzing the impact of fund composition, management influences and SRI strategies through sensitivity and robustness analysis. These best practices aim to enhance the robustness of SRI financial performance analysis.

This paper is co-authored with Hans Schenk and Bert Scholtens.

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