This paper examines whether environmental and social (ES) activities affect the resiliency of firms during the COVID-19 crisis. We study a sample of 330 firms operating in five developed countries: Canada, France, Japan, the UK and the US. Our analysis shows that US firms with a high ES ranking experienced a significantly lower stock price range volatility during the Covid stock market rundown of February-March 2020. Such findings also hold for Japanese firms but only later on after the introduction of government support. In terms of returns, compared to their peers with a low ES ranking, Japanese and UK stock prices with a high ES ranking suffered more during and after the market rundown. For other countries, we do not find significant differences in stock price behavior based on ES ratings. Our findings suggest that engaging with ES activities is not associated with a better or worse performance during crisis times, which has important implications for investors and managers.
- ESG Investing
- Environmental and Social activities