CSB Research Grant Recipients Publish Papers on Topics from Investors Responses to the #MeToo Movement to Constructing Climate Risk Hedge Portfolios

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Through its Research Grant Program, the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) facilitates academic research and thought leadership across Stern on the role of business in addressing key social and environmental issues. 

Since 2018, CSB has supported sixteen research initiatives conducted by Stern faculty and doctoral students, each of which aims to advance understanding of topics at the nexus of business and sustainability. 

Past research topics have ranged from examining how ethical information about companies affects consumers’ purchase and repurchase decisions to whether investors’ beliefs about climate change affect their portfolio allocations. Projects currently underway range from the impact of fossil fuel divestment on expected returns to how agricultural supply and land use change in Brazil responds to market conditions.

Below, you’ll find the most recently published papers from our Research Grant recipients. 

Frances Milliken, Arthur E. Imperatore Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies, Management Division
2018 CSB Research Grant Recipient

Opening the Black Box: Understanding the Mechanisms Linking Organizational Sustainability Practices to Employee Outcomes by Frances Milliken, Kelly E. See
Milliken’s research presents a conceptual model of how organizational sustainability practices can come to alter important employee-level outcomes. Specifically, this research provides insight into corporate sustainability by specifying the mechanisms through which organizational sustainability practices can influence the degree to which employees engage with their work and identify with their employer. Milliken and See’s analysis suggests that sustainability practices may activate a virtuous cycle of inter-connected relational and communication pathways that change the flows of information across an organizational hierarchy and thereby alter employee attitudes toward their own work and towards the broader organization. 

Raluca Ursu, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marketing Department 
2018 CSB Research Grant Recipient

Search Gaps and Consumer Fatigue by Raluca Ursu, Qianyun Poppy Zhang, Elisabeth Honka
Ursu et al. study consumer online browsing histories and provide model-free evidence that consumers take breaks from searching due to fatigue. Ursu et. al develop a sequential search model that rationalizes search gaps by allowing consumers to additionally decide when to search an option: now or after a break. This research finds that the more a consumer searches, the higher her search costs per option; taking a break reduces these costs to a baseline and enables the consumer to resume her search at a later time. 

Gil Nogueira, PhD Student, Department of Finance
2019 CSB Research Grant Recipient

Corporate Reorganization as Labor Insurance in Bankruptcy by Diana Bonfim; Gil Nogueira
Nogueira’s work investigates the consequences of corporate reorganization and liquidation on the reallocation of labor in bankruptcy. Nogueira and Bonfim’s paper finds that reorganization provides labor insurance to workers in bankruptcy, having a positive and persistent effect on wages, even as most workers leave reorganized firms. Reduced human capital losses and improved worker-firm matches with new employers are two mechanisms that explain the effect of reorganization on wages. The positive effect of reorganization on worker outcomes is concentrated in thin and low-growth labor markets.

Mary Billings, Associate Professor of Accounting, Accounting Department  
2020 CSB Research Grant Recipient

Investors’ Response to the #MeToo Movement: Does Corporate Culture Matter? by Mary Brooke Billings, April Klein, Yanting Crystal Shi
Billings’ paper tracks a timeline of events associated with the #MeToo movement, beginning with the Harvey Weinstein exposé in October 2017 in the New York Times, and documents contrasting market reactions to the movement depending on the existing culture of the firm. This research provides evidence that firms that historically excluded women from their board experienced a negative market response as momentum for the cause increased, whereas investors responded favorably to firms that historically embraced the inclusion of women on their boards. In contrast, Billings et. al does not detect differences in the market’s response to randomly generated pseudo-events during the same time frame when comparing firms with exclusive and inclusive cultures. 

Johannes Stroebel, David S. Loeb Professor of Finance, Department of Finance
2020 CSB Research Grant Recipient

A Quantity-Based Approach to Constructing Climate Risk Hedge Portfolios by Johannes Stroebel, Georgij Alekseev, Stefano Giglio, Quinn Maingi, Julia Selgrad
Stroebel’s research investigates how mutual fund managers trade in response to idiosyncratic changes in their climate change beliefs. Strobel et. al predict how investors will reallocate their capital when aggregate climate news shocks occur, news that shift the beliefs and asset demands of many investors and thus move equilibrium prices. The research shows that a portfolio that holds stocks that investors tend to buy after experiencing idiosyncratic climate belief shocks appreciates in value in periods with aggregate negative climate news shocks.