Williams (2005b)

Williams, Geoffrey. "Some Determinants of the Socially Responsible Investment Decision: A Cross Country Study." Working Paper, Centre for Business, Organisations and Society, School of Management, University of Bath. December 2005b.

Presents and analyzes data from a 2003 GlobeScan poll of 5,017 individual investors in the U.S. Germany, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. This survey was not originally designed to study social investment behavior in detail, but offers important clues about motivations and attitudes. The study defines as socially responsible any respondents who answered 'yes' to the following question: "Has a company's demonstrated social responsibility ever had an influence on your investment decisions - have you either bought or sold shares as a result?"

The study then tests sixteen hypotheses about the differences between social investors and the broader investment population using probit regression analysis. It finds that investors' characteristics "as consumers and their general attitude to the social aims of firms appear to carry through into their investment choices."

The market context was also important - "investors in the UK, where most investment is intermediated through a pension or insurance fund, appear to be less active as SRI investors than in Australia for example, where direct share ownership is more common."

However, "financial returns and demographic characteristics by contrast appear to have very little power in explaining the SRI choice."

Link:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15427560709337016?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=hbhf20