Beal, Diana and Goyen, Michelle and Phillips, Peter J. (2005) Why do we invest ethically? The Journal of Investing, 14 (3). pp. 66-77. ISSN 1068-0896
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Analysis in this paper has proposed three potential motives for ethical investment - financial returns, non-wealth returns and social change. The motives are developed from the literature and illustrated in the context of a 'best of sector' fund and a socially screened fund. We find that the proposed motives are neither exhaustive nor exclusive and one single motive will not explain the behaviour of all ethical investors. There may be a trade-off between financial and psychic returns for some investors. The trade-off for consumption-investors is expected to be close to zero (total utility is maximised with small levels of ethical investment in the fun of participation model) and is expected to vary with the ethical intensity of investment-investors, as shown when we include ethical intensity into the investor's utility function. Psychic return can also be viewed as an increase in happiness and this approach would lend itself to empirical testing to increase our understanding of why we invest ethically.
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