The Effect of ESG on Stock Market Returns Following Financial Restatement (thesis)
Walker, Ryan Alexander
Washington and Lee University -- Honors in Accounting
Stocks -- Rate of return
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Honors thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Ryan Alexander Walker is a member of the Class of 2023 of Washington and Lee University.This paper examines the effects of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores and their component parts on cumulative abnormal stock returns for 63 publicly traded firms. Using an event study I find a statistically significant and negative relationship between aggregate ESG scores and cumulative short-window abnormal returns, but no significant association was found for cumulative long-window abnormal returns. I also examine changes in ESG scores over time and find that ESG score increases are positively associated with short-window abnormal returns following income-decreasing restatements. However, longer-window abnormal returns following a restatement increase with ESG scores. Finally, results of an analysis of disaggregated E, S, and G scores show that S scores are negatively associated with abnormal returns following income-decreasing restatements. Further, G Scores tend to magnify short-window market reactions to restatements. This paper extends the current body of literature on how ESG scores are used by capital markets, and builds on the knowledge of what companies do to repair their reputation after a restatement event.