Special Issue on ‘The Political Economy of CSR’


Special Issue on
‘The Political Economy of CSR’

Global Finance Journal
Call for Papers

Special Issue: The Political Economy of CSR

Guest Editors:
Sadok El Ghoul, University of Alberta
Omrane Guedhami, University of South Carolina

Description of Purpose and Scope of the Special Issue
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), which refers to a firm’s commitment to its non-shareholding stakeholders including employees, customers, communities, society, and the environment, has become an important business practice around the world and a focal research topic across various business disciplines. The literature focuses on two important questions, namely the valuation consequences of CSR and the determinants of CSR practices. Research addressing the first question largely suggests that CSR is value-enhancing (e.g., El Ghoul et al., 2011; Friede et al., 2015; Flammer, 2015; El Ghoul et al., 2017; Griffin et al., 2021). The existing body of research related to the second question has generated rich insights into the determinants of CSR, including firm (e.g., ownership structure, CEO and board characteristics), industry- and country-level factors. Focusing on country-level factors, several studies show that formal and informal institutions influence cross-country differences in the provision of firm-level CSR activities (e.g., Ioannou and Serafeim, 2012; Liang and Renneboog, 2017; El Ghoul et al., 2019; Griffin et al., 2021). However, there has been little research outside the U.S. on the role of political economy factors in shaping CSR; for the U.S. setting, see, for instance, Rubin (2008) and Di Giuli and Kostovetsky (2014). Ioannou and Serafeim (2012) find that the political orientation (i.e., left ideology) is a key driver of CSR across countries and, more recently, El Ghoul et al. (2021) find that firms located in countries with greater deliberative capacity of political institutions have higher CSR scores.

This special issue of Global Finance Journal is seeking theoretical, empirical and policy-oriented papers that deal with the role of political institutions in CSR and the potential effect of CSR on political outcomes. Successful manuscripts will be fully developed papers with sound theoretical frameworks. They should employ rigorous methodologies and international datasets (e.g., Database of Political Institutions, V-Dem) and generate novel findings that make a significant contribution to the literature. The following are some select, non-comprehensive examples of possible research questions:

 How do political regimes and democratic institutions shape CSR?
 What are the consequences of democratic transitions on CSR?
 How do election systems (e.g., majoritarian vs. proportional) shape CSR?
 How does political uncertainty (e.g., tight elections) affect CSR?
 What are the consequences of political instability for CSR?
 Does the political orientation of the ruling party (left, right, center) influence CSR?
 Is the popularity of Green parties related to CSR?
 Has the rise of populist parties around the globe affected CSR?
 How do business-government relationships (e.g., political connections, state ownership, revolving doors, campaign contributions) influence CSR?
 What are the implications of political sanctions (e.g., embargos) for CSR? Can CSR alleviate the negative effects of political sanctions?
 Does government quality (e.g., stability, effectiveness, accountability) affect CSR?
 How do political institutions and government quality affect the perception of CSR by market participants (e.g., analyst forecasts, audit fees, cost of capital, credit ratings, market valuation)?
 Does political polarization affect CSR and its perception by market participants?
 Do socially responsible firms attempt to influence political outcomes, e.g., through lobbying and campaign contributions? Do they contribute more to candidates with green and progressive platforms?

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Interested authors should submit through the journal’s website
http://www.journals.elsevier.com/global-finance-journal/ and designate the submission for the Special Issue on “Political Economy of CSR” in the cover letter.
Submission Deadline: July 31, 2022 (Early submissions are encouraged.)
Completion Deadline: March 2023

Carney, R., El Ghoul, S., Guedhami, O., Lu., J., & Wang, H. (2021). Political corporate social responsibility: The role of deliberative capacity.
Di Giuli, A., & Kostovetsky, L. (2014). Are red or blue companies more likely to go green? Politics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Financial Economics, 111(1), 158-180.
El Ghoul, S., Guedhami, O., & Kim, Y. (2017). Country-level institutions, firm value, and the role of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(3), 360-385.
El Ghoul, S., Guedhami, O., Kwok, C. C., & Mishra, D. R. (2011). Does corporate social responsibility affect the cost of capital? Journal of Banking & Finance, 35(9), 2388-2406.
El Ghoul, S., Guedhami, O., Nash, R., & Patel, A. (2019). New evidence on the role of the media in corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 154(4), 1051-1079.
Flammer C. (2015). Does corporate social responsibility lead to superior financial performance? A regression discontinuity approach. Management Science, 61(11), 2549-2568.
Friede, G., Busch, T., & Bassen, A. (2015). ESG and financial performance: Aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 5(4), 210-233.
Griffin, D. W., Guedhami, O., Li, K., & Lu, G. (2021). National culture and the value implications of corporate social responsibility: A channel analysis. Journal of Corporate Finance.
Rubin, A. (2008). Political views and corporate decision making: The case of corporate social responsibility. Financial Review, 43(3), 337-360.