Pricing Sin Stocks: Ethical Preference vs. Risk Aversion
European Economic Review,
We develop an ethical preference-based model that reproduces the average return and volatility spread between sin and non-sin stocks. Our investors do not necessarily boycott sin companies. Rather, they are open to invest in any company while trading off dividends against ethicalness. When dividends and ethicalness are complementary goods and investors are sufficiently risk averse, the model predicts that the dividend share of sin companies exhibits a positive relation with the future return and volatility spreads. An empirical analysis supports the model’s predictions. Taken together, our results point to the importance of ethical preferences for investors’ portfolio choices and asset prices.
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Economic activity in the world and in Germany is losing momentum
In the second half of 2018, the upturn of the German economy has stalled. Production of the automotive industry declined because of delays in switching production to WLTP compliant cars. Irrespectively of this, the German export business has been weakening since the beginning of the year, since the global economy, burdened by the political uncertainties surrounding trade conflicts, the impending Brexit and the conflict over the Italian budget, was unable to keep up with the high momentum of 2017. “It is to be expected that the less benign external environment will not only dampen exports, but will also impact on companies’ investment and hiring decisions”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). Gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2018 and by 1.4% in 2019, which is roughly equal to the growth rate of economic capacity in Germany.
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