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2021 | Book | 1. edition

Contemporary Issues in Sustainable Finance

Financial Products and Financial Institutions

Editors: Mario La Torre, Helen Chiappini

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : Palgrave Studies in Impact Finance


About this book

This book sheds light on current issues in sustainable finance through an in-depth analysis and discussion of relevant sustainable products and sustainable initiatives of several financial institutions. This edited collection critically presents and discusses several relevant theoretical issues, case studies of innovative financial products and sustainable institutions, as well as empirically investigates issues related to both financial and social performance. The book focuses on several innovative products across the sustainable finance ecosystem, including social impact bonds, crowdfunding and green bonds. Similarly, the book spotlights the sustainable investment strategies of institutions ranging from family foundations to asset managers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Sustainable Finance: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities
Climate change, but also the unmet social needs, encourage a fast transition towards a sustainable economy and, in turn, the identification of a clear regulatory framework, able to support the financing of the most virtuous sectors. Several jurisdictions are moving on in this direction; however, investors remain still caution due to the risk of green-washing that the sustainable market currently faces. The chapter explores relevant challenges of sustainable finance.
Mario La Torre, Helen Chiappini
Chapter 2. Who Likes SIBs? A Bibliometric Analysis of Academic Literature (Time Span 1990–2018)
Scientific research into Social Impact Bonds (henceforth, SIBs) has consistently grown over the last 15 years, from an average publication of 10 papers per year (henceforth, PPY) between 2007–2011, to 25 PPY during 2012–2014 and to more than 50 PPY from 2015 (Web of Science, previously known as ISI Web of Knowledge). This chapter aims to explore this development of academic research by using a bibliometric analysis. The findings are organised into two forms of assessment: public sector reform (henceforth, PSR) versus financial sector reform (henceforth, FSR); and optimistic versus pessimistic responses. By combining the two forms, we obtain a matrix in which existing literature can be clustered into four quadrants along a longitudinal study for the period 1990–2018.
Luigi Corvo, Lavinia Pastore, Matteo Ghibelli
Chapter 3. Fighting Poverty and Inequalities Through Social Impact Bonds: Learning from Case Studies to Support the Covid-19 Response
This chapter focuses on critical case studies involving SIBs—launched to address poverty (also in advanced economies) and socio-economic inequality issues—with the aims of understanding (1) the links and gaps between the contests and the structures of different SIB models and the ways to achieve their goals and (2) the key elements for scaling up these practices. Our analysis examines the main implications for research and practice by providing a framework for an ecosystem in which SIBs are developed. The work contributes to the international debate and introduces interesting stimuli for developing SIBs in the post-COVID-19 era, especially in some European Union countries, such as Italy, that are characterized by high rates of unemployment and poverty.
Annarita Trotta, Rosella Carè, Rossana Caridà, Maria Cristina Migliazza
Chapter 4. Green Bonds Capital Returns: The Impact of Market and Macroeconomic Variables
This chapter is an investigation on the determinants of Green Bonds capital returns, with a focus on market and macroeconomic variables. These instruments are showing an exponential growth, as tested by Initiative Climate Bonds. In our study we observe Borsa Italiana market over the period 2016–2019, adopting Arellano–Bond dynamic panel regressions. Our results state peculiarities, like the negative autocorrelation or the lacking influence of stock market. We highlight that in times of unusual turbulence, green bonds are exposed to market volatility like conventional ones. Definitively, since recent research has shown the deep impact of market and macroeconomic variables on the latter, our aim is investigating if the same trend deals with Green Bonds or if there are some specificities.
Alessandra Ortolano, Eliana Angelini
Chapter 5. Crowdfunding as a Support Tool for the Activity of Social Investors
Crowdfunding is emerging as a promising new option to facilitate access to financial resources for social initiatives. This chapter studies crowdfunding practice focusing on the role played by an Italian platform owned by a banking foundation. By examining 140 projects hosted between 2016 and 2018, the study analyzes how the platform acts to improve and facilitate the interaction between non-profit organizations (NPOs), social investors, and donors. The results show that social crowdfunding promotes interaction between all the actors involved and improves the philanthropic activity of the banking foundation by three times.
Antonio Minguzzi, Michele Modina
Chapter 6. Environmental, Social, and Governance Integration in Asset Management Strategy: The Case of Candriam
The integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts in the investment strategies has sparked a lively debate among both investors and scholars. The chapter draws attention to this debate, better understanding if asset managers are open to integrate ESG factors into their SRI strategies and, at the same time, to communicate them to stakeholders. A content analysis of a sample of Candriam Key Investors Information Documents published in 2019 was performed. Results show that Candriam approached differently the ESG themes under investigation (Environment, Society, Governance, Labor, Compliance, and Performance).
Silvia Cosimato, Nicola Cucari, Giovanni Landi
Chapter 7. Family Firms as Prominent Investment Organizations of Social Finance: An Empirical Analysis of U.S. Family Foundations
This chapter suggests including family firms among the leading investors of the social finance market. Although social finance literature has largely overlooked them, we argue that large family firms possess the financial (e.g., profitability, capital structure, liquidity) and non-financial (e.g., continuity, community, connections, and command) characteristics allowing them to generate meaningful societal impact. To support our view, we examined 46 U.S. family foundations and 478 social finance transactions taking place from 2002 to 2019. This pilot study indicates that family firms, through their family foundations, are already playing a significant role in the social finance arena by providing social entrepreneurs with equity and debt capital as well as grants.
Carmen Gallucci, Rosalia Santulli, Riccardo Tipaldi
Chapter 8. Norwegian Pension Fund’s Portfolio: What Happens to the Companies Divested for Environmental Concerns?
We investigate how international investors evaluate the behaviour of those companies that have been excluded from the portfolio of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund-Global (GPF-G) due to environmental concerns. We concentrate on the excluded companies, to check if they are punished by SR concerned investors for their unethical environmental production and suffer from reputational damage. In particular, we focus on the 37 companies that have been excluded on the 14 of April 2016 that are listed on nine international stock markets. Building on the methodology generally used in these cases, we run an event study analysis to assess the stock price reaction to the public announcement of exclusion and to detect if an abnormal price reaction around the event exists.
Stefano Dell’Atti, Viviana Fanelli, Federica Miglietta
Chapter 9. Women’s Empowerment Through Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing in Myanmar
This chapter explores the role of social entrepreneurship and impact investing on women’s empowerment in Myanmar. The main results can be summarized as follows. First, in the environment of Myanmar, social enterprises play an important role for the empowerment of women, helping achieve economic independence, overcome poverty through asset building, and improve the well-being of families and communities. Second, access to finance is a crucial factor limiting the scale, with the majority of social enterprises relying on grants and being excluded from the financial system. Third, impact investments in Myanmar play a decisive role in disrupting the current way of financing development, as well as in creating a new generation of female social entrepreneurs.
Vlada Perekrestova
Chapter 10. Social Impact Assessment: Measurability and Data Management
The growing interest in the issues of sustainability and social innovation opens new opportunities to explore the great potential of technological innovation in favour of social and environmental impact objectives. However, the scientific community dealing with these issues is facing new challenges to make the achieved results measurable. This research aims to verify the possibility of overcoming the limit of measurability of social impact by integrating social innovation and digital innovation. More specifically, gathering the social impact measurement data and applying business intelligence methods to construct a data warehouse containing a benchmark on the impact chain (Clark 2004). The results show a great potential of information that can be generated by digital technologies to make social innovation processes more measurable, reliable and scalable.
Luigi Corvo, Lavinia Pastore
Chapter 11. Social Impact Assessment: A Focus on Italian Innovative Startups with a Social Goal
European Commission has recently outlined a framework for the definition of an ecosystem promoting entrepreneurship and social innovation (Georghiou in A European innovation ecosystem for social innovation. European Commission, Brussels). In this direction, the Italian legal system typed a particular status of firm, the Innovative startup with a social goal (ISUSG). These firms are required to prepare a “social impact assessment document” to obtain the recognition of the social and innovative startup status, reviewing it annually for the maintenance of the status. Impact assessment can be a critical issue for firms, due to the still unclear definition of social impact and difficulties in identifying the most appropriate assessment method. This chapter deepens the impact assessment in these firms, acquiring evidence about methods and estimated value for social impact.
Manuela Gallo, Valeria Vannoni
Chapter 12. Sustainable Finance and COVID-19 Pandemic: Weathering the Storm and Preventing a New One
The chapter offers an overview of sustainable finance products implemented during the pandemic crisis and summarizes some reflections on how sustainable finance could represent a useful tool for reconstructing a resilient financial and economic system.
Helen Chiappini
Contemporary Issues in Sustainable Finance
Mario La Torre
Helen Chiappini
Copyright Year
Springer International Publishing
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN

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