CSR disclosures and the volatility of the stock market: A study of the Swedish and Danish stock markets
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Reporting regarding issues that are related to Corporate Social Responsibility have come into more and more focus lately. Most countries currently have a limited or no mandatory regulations regarding what should be included in either an annual report or in a stand-alone report in terms of CSR. However Denmark is one of the pioneers regarding mandatory CSR regulations and as such has certain rules and regulations that their companies have to follow. Even if today’s regulations are heavily focused on financial information that companies have to disclose there also exists regulations regarding non-financial information. As with the financial crisis that occurred in the early 21st century that led to stricter disclosures requirements for financial information we see a need for regulating non-financial information and especially CSR information. We have been able to see that some companies have been able to manipulate their CSR report so as to put themselves in a good light. Therefore the question arises if mandatory CSR disclosure will have any influence on the stock market.The purpose of this study was to examine if Swedish companies and the Swedish stock market could benefit from having mandatory CSR regulations, similar to those that exist in Denmark. We sought to examine if fulfilling certain amount of CSR criteria would reduce the volatility of a company’s stock price.In order for us to achieve the purpose of our research we had to conduct an experiment on the Swedish companies. In order for us to conduct the experiment we firstly had to select what type of research we would conduct and what type of research was most suitable for our research. In order for us to achieve an answer to our research question and to be able to fulfill the purpose of our research we decided to conduct a quantitative research. We have chosen to utilize the quantitative research approach as this would allow gathering sufficient data from existing databases and reports. The database that we chose to utilize in order for us to find our sample population was NASDAQ OMX Nordic where the companies had be listed as of 2015-03-31 as well as having financial data for the entire year of 2014, meaning between 2014-01-01 and 2014-12-31. NASDAQ OMX Nordic was also used in order for us to find market indexes. In order for us to able to answer our research question we developed three different hypotheses based on our theoretical framework that would later be tested.From the testing of our hypotheses we could determine that there is a relationship between the amount of CSR that a company reports, in terms of how many of our CSR criteria they fulfill, and the historical volatility of the company’s stock price. We were also able to determine that there exists a relationship between the amount of CSR that a company reports and the level of Beta that a company has. This implied that the Swedish stock market could benefit from mandatory CSR regulation as it would reduce the volatility which would also be beneficial for the company’s different stakeholders.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CSR, mandatory disclosure, voluntary disclosure, regulations, Beta, volatility, stock price volatility
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108066OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-108066DiVA: diva2:850889
Master's Programme in Accounting