Moskowitz Prize winners explore how socially responsible firms influence supply chain

HAAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, UC BERKELEY — The Institute for Business & Social Impact (IBSI) at Berkeley Haas has awarded the 2019 Moskowitz Prize to a trio of researchers who discovered that socially responsible corporate customers can have a strong positive impact on the social performance of firms within their supply chains.

The prize was awarded to Rui Dai, senior research support director in Research Data Services at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; Hao Liang, assistant professor of finance at Singapore Management University; and Prof. Lilian Ng, Scotiabank Chair in International Finance at York University Schulich School of Business. Their paper, “Socially Responsible Corporate Customers,” is forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economics.

In the paper, the researchers noted that many large global corporate customers increasingly recognize the importance of integrating social responsibility into their business model to build a sustainable competitive marketplace advantage.

Tapping several international databases, the researchers found evidence that corporate customers often establish supply chain relationships with firms inclined to engage in responsible social and environmental practices. Through their work, they uncovered a “multiplier effect” that has significant policy implications—that increasing one firm’s corporate social responsibility can potentially have a ripple effect across the extensive global supply chains.

This year’s winners will accept the prize at the annual Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Conference, held November 13-15 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lloyd Kurtz, faculty co-chair of the Moskowitz Prize, said the paper stood out for its clarity, the importance of the area under study, and the care taken in its quantitative analysis.

“Corporate leaders have told us for many years that supply chains are vital for corporate social performance, but this outstanding paper is the first we have seen that examines these relationships in-depth,” Kurtz said.

Presented since 1996, the Moskowitz Prize, previously awarded by the Center for Responsible Business at Haas, is the only global award that recognizes outstanding quantitative research in socially responsible investing.

Judges from both academic and investment circles reviewed a total of 40 papers this year before choosing a winner. They judged papers on the practical significance to practitioners of socially responsible investing, appropriateness and rigor of quantitative methods, and novelty of results.

The prize is named for Milton Moskowitz, one of the first investigators to publish comparisons of the financial performance of screened and unscreened portfolios, including The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.

About the SRI Conference

The SRI Conference is the premier annual gathering of the sustainability/SRI/ESG/impact investing world.  #fromEVOLUTIONtoREVOLUTION is the focus of this milestone conference, which draws an estimated 1,200 attendees. The 30th Annual SRI Conference offers participants the chance to learn from SRI experts, gain insight on policy and future trends, be among the first to know about new SRI products, and enjoy opportunities to network and do business with a diverse range of organizations and leaders at the forefront of investing for social, economic, and environmental progress.

About Berkeley Haas

Berkeley Haas offers outstanding management education to about 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students who come from around the world to study in one of its six degree-granting programs and to join the school’s network of 41,000 alumni worldwide. Its distinctive culture is defined by four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself.