Investor Attitudes, Investment Screen Use, and Socially Responsible Investment Behavior
There is an increasing demand for socially responsible investment (SRI), and SRI screens are an important source of information for investors. Yet, little is known about the relationship between investors’ attitudes, use of SRI screens, and actual SRI behavior. To examine this relationship, we gathered data on investors’ environmental attitudes, use of SRI screens, and SRI behavior. We find that four out of five components of the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale, a measure of basic environmental attitudes, are associated with specific attitudes towards environmentally responsible investment. These specific attitudes in turn are positively associated with SRI screen use, and SRI screen use is positively associated with the percentage of investors’ portfolio held in SRIs. There is also a significant direct relationship between specific environmentally responsible investment attitudes and SRI holdings. Our results suggest that there are complex, multi-dimensional relationships between investor attitudes, SRI screen use, and investment behavior.