Are firms doing good also doing well?—The CSR advertising-analogous effect

She Chih Chiu, Hsuan Chu Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical framework and empirical support for an examination of corporate financial performance (CFP) from the perspective of an effect that is analogous to corporate social responsibility (CSR) advertising. We propose that not all companies are capable of “doing well by doing good.” Through an analytic model, we identify three key elements for determining a company's CSR advertising-analogous effect on CFP: the incremental margin (gross profit rate), the sales–CSR elasticity and sales demand in the market (market share). By re-examining the equivocal relationship between CSR and CFP based on a sample of publicly held US companies from 1991 to 2018, we document that companies in the best position to undertake CSR activities (with gross profit rates, sales–CSR elasticities and market shares above the industry medians) have a superior advertising-analogous effect to other companies. Moreover, our empirical results show that companies in the best position to undertake CSR activities face less severe agency problems when they conduct more CSR activities than other companies. Finally, in a test of whether regular advertising expenditures and CSR devotion could jointly enhance current CFP, the results show that the positive joint effect is more pronounced for companies in the best position to undertake CSR activities than for other companies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Finance and Accounting
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Finance

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