Governments and regulators often introduce reporting standards to encourage desirable corporate activities through increasing information quality. Firms that voluntarily take socially desirable activities directly benefit from these standards by being better able to distinguish them against rivals in the product market or with respect to investors. Using a cross-country panel dataset, we find that, at an annual frequency, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports increase the prevalence of voluntary CSR reporting standards, but little evidence that the converse is true. Thus, at least in the short-run, reporting standards act as an ex-post certification for firms with high CSR activity rather than as an ex-ante incentive for corporate behaviour.
- corporate environmental policy
- regulatory capture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics