Ding, Ferreira, and Wongchati (2014)

Ding, David, Christine Ferreira, and Udomsak Wongchoti.  “Does it pay to outclass? Corporate social responsibility and its impact on firm value.”  Working paper (Massey University), August 21, 2014.

From the authors' abstract:  "We show that conventional aggregation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) raw scores and its interpreted impact on firm value is less than reliable. Instead, the value impact of CSR activities relies heavily on the industry-specific relative position of the firm. Firms that distinguish themselves over their peers are associated with an increased value. This finding is robust and holds for both responsible and irresponsible behavior."

Link:  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2484901