Essays on Corporate Social Performance (CSP) & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): A global to firm level analysis
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In recent years, there is a growing interest about corporate social responsibility (CSR) of firms in both academic literature and business world. Here, the underlying rationale is that since business forms a part of society, incorporating socio-environment concerns into its value chain activities is vital for ensuring mutual sustainability and prosperity. Most of the studies have either been descriptive or normative rather than positivist in tone. Even the studies with a positivist approach have mostly studied the link between the social and financial performance of the firms. However, many authors have criticized these studies on grounds that they ignore other factors likely to affect Corporate Social Performance (CSP) of firms such as firm-level determinants, industry structure and country-level institutions under which they operate. In this context, the first study assesses the impact of firm and industry-level determinants on CSP score of 3244 publicly-held firms across 28 sectors for 14 years (2002-15). The results suggest that competition in the market, nature of industry, firm size, visibility, ownership structure and expenses on research and development processes significantly impact CSP of firms. The second study assess the impact of country-level institutions on CSP scores of 2629 publicly-held global firms across 46 countries for six years (2010-2015). The results indicate that public and private institutions, goods, service and labor market and capacity to innovate are crucial factors affecting CSP of firms in an economy. In both the studies, panel data analysis is used to test and validate appropriate hypotheses. The third study evaluates the impact of 2% mandatory regime introduced in section 135 of the company’s Act, 2013 on CSR spending by companies in India. The method - difference in differences estimation in a panel framework is used for assessing the policy impact. The sample consists of 1221 companies for 11 years (2006-16). The results suggest that the mandatory regime has increased the mean CSR spending by companies. The coverage of firms-year observation is based on the availability of data after adequately cleaning the same. Policy implications related to regulation, competition, tax structure and innovation across industries and economies have been suggested.
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