International socially responsible funds: financial performance and managerial skills during crisis and non-crisis markets

  • Published September 27, 2016
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    Volume 14 2016, Issue #3 (cont. 2), pp. 461-472
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    2 articles

Nofsinger and Varma (2014) provide evidence that U.S. socially responsible funds outperform conventional funds during periods of market turmoil and, therefore, grant some crisis insurance. To investigate whether the U.S.-based evidence can be transferred to international markets, the authors analyze a comprehensive sample of internationally-investing socially responsible equity funds in a period from 2000 to 2012. As abnormal returns are model-specific, the authors apply standard and q-theory based performance measurement models. At first glance, the authors observe no crisis protection for internationally-investing socially responsible funds. However, splitting their sample in funds domiciled in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to account for biases due to the origin of a fund, the authors find that socially responsible funds from North America outperform their peers in crisis periods irrespective of the applied performance evaluation model. The authors suggest that the U.S.-based evidence is restricted to internationally-investing funds domiciled in North America, and discover that this outperformance seems to be owed to the stock-picking abilities of North American fund managers and their advantage due to the nature of the North American market.

Keywords: socially responsible investments, mutual funds, international markets, performance evaluation, managerial abilities.
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G15, G23, M14

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