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Public Listing, Context and CSR: The Effects of Legal Origin

The literature on legal origin argues that legal institutions mold what firms do: within common law systems, shareholder rights are much stronger, reducing agency issues. We explore whether publicly-listed companies are more likely to have corporate social responsibility (CSR) codes than privately-held companies, and whether the association between a public listing and the existence of a CSR code is affected by the company’s location within a specific institutional and cultural setting. We conclude that proposals to introduce more ethical dimensions to the behavior of firms need to be thought through: what works in one location may be inappropriate in another.

Published on 20th November 2015
Authors Professor Chris Brewster
Series Reference JHD-2015-09