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Comparing the Volatility of Socially Responsible Investments, Renewable Energy Funds and Conventional Indices
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A growing concern among investors for social responsibility in relation to the business world and its effect on the environment, society, and government has increased and therefore different types of stock indices and funds that incorporate socially responsible ideals have been developed. However, a literature review revealed that there does not seem to be much information about the volatility of Green Funds or Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). Volatility is an important part of understanding the financial markets and is used by many to understand asset allocation, risk management, option pricing and many other functions. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate the volatility performance of SRIs, REFs and Conventional Indices by using different models CAPM, SR, JA and EGARCH, and monthly and daily data from the US, UK, Japan and Eurozone financial markets to compare results.


This thesis has been conducted by following an objective ontological and positivist epistemological position, because the data used for analysis in this thesis is independent from the author and has studied what actually exists, not what the author seeks to interpret. The research approach is functionalist, because this thesis sought to explain how the investments function in relation to volatility comparisons in different financial markets and if this volatility can be predicted through a framework of rules designed by previous researchers. The design is a deductive study of quantitative, longitudinal, secondary data, because hypotheses are derived from theory to test the volatility of time series data between the year 2007 and 2012 through empirical evidence.


Statistical evidence was found to suggest that the EGARCH model for volatility measurement is the best fit to model volatility and daily data can give more information and better consistency between results. SRIs were found to be less volatile than CIs in all financial markets; REFs were found more volatile than CIs in the US and Eurozone markets but not in the UK and Japan markets; REFs were found to be more volatile than SRIs in all markets except the UK; REFs were also found to be more volatile than SRIs and CIs during a recession in all markets except the UK. Evidence also indicated that the correlations between REFs and SRIs in the US and Eurozone were significant, but not significant in the UK and Japan market samples. The correlations were low between the UK and Japan SRIs, Japan and Eurozone SRIs and Japan SRI and Eurozone REF, which suggest that an investor may consider to diversify between these investments. However, all other statistically significant correlations between financial markets were high and could consequentially deliver poor long term investment performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 91 p.
Keyword [en]
Volatility, Socially Responsible Investments, Renewable Energy Funds, GARCH, Correlations
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91029OAI: diva2:733239
Educational program
Master's Programme in Finance
Available from: 2014-07-09 Created: 2014-07-08 Last updated: 2014-07-09Bibliographically approved

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