A recent study by Sehoon Kim, University of Florida, and Robin Döttling, Rotterdam School of Management, examined the ESG investing preferences during economic crises by measuring fund inflows to high sustainability funds. They found that retail investor preference for sustainability substantially weakens under economic distress. Preferences for sustainability by institutional investors, however, did not substantially decline under economic distress. Their decline in high sustainability fund inflows was only temporary. This effect occurs due to the perception of sustainability as a luxury good by retail investors, which they cannot afford during economic crises. Their research provides a stepping stone to understanding investor preferences regarding sustainable investments.  


  • Robin Dottling
    Role: Faculty
    Reference type: Written by

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  • Wall Street Journal (Newspaper)