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Research projects

Misum Affiliated Researchers are involved in several ongoing research projects, both within their platform and in collaboration with other research institutes or industry partners. A selection of projects involving affiliates from the Sustainable Finance Initiative can be found below.

Shareholder engagement on climate risk

In this project, we follow a three-year shareholder engagement process with 20 publicly listed utility companies, on the theme of carbon risk. The processes were led by a Scandinavian engagement intermediary. We are exploring which factors will lead to a more or less successful engagement, but also what different roles the engager takes on and what that means for the process.

This project has received partial funding from Vinnova and from Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. Image from Unsplash

Researchers:
Emma SjöströmMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Research Fellow at the Department of Marketing and Strategy
Rieneke Slager, Misum Research Fellow 2020/2021
Jean-Pascal Gond, Misum Research Fellow 2019; Cass Business School, City University London

ESG in the earnings call context

The aim of this project is to uncover the intensity of climate information in quarterly earnings conferences over a time period of twenty years. The earnings call is one of the most important interfaces between the company and financial analysts, and we hypothesize that for companies in industries where climate change is a material issue, the intensity of climate change-related disclosures in the call, as well as questions raised by analysts in the Q&A session, will increase over time. This research project feeds into a broader research theme at Misum Sustainable Finance Initiative on integrating ESG in the capital market conversation.

This project has received partial funding from Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. Image from Unsplash

Researchers:
Emma SjöströmMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Research Fellow at the Department of Marketing and Strategy
Florian Eugster, Misum Affiliated Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Department of Accounting, SSE
Michal Dzielinski, Stockholm University

Financing municipal sustainable city plans

Together with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and CleanTech Scandinavia (CTS), we are exploring the scope of Swedish municipalities’ sustainability plans, what level of financing is needed in order to achieve the plans, and to what extent private capital might help to fill any gaps. 

The project is funded by Viable Cities. Read more about the project here. Image from Unsplash

Researchers:
Emma SjöströmMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Research Fellow at the Department of Marketing and Strategy
Nina Waltré, Senior Research Assistant, Misum Sustainable Finance Initiative
Fedra Vanhuyse and Astrid Nilsson, SEI 
Magnus Agerström and Alicia Requena, CTS

Swesif/Misum Integrating Sustainability in Investment Analysis (ISIA)

This project will provide an update on the status of long-term investment analyses, and will result in updated recommendations for promoting and enabling increasingly useful analyses of longer-term issues (including ESG issues) to assist the responsible and sustainable investment decision-making process. The study’s three focus groups will be: institutional investors, sell-side equity research businesses, and publicly listed corporations. The project is an extension of a previous project (also in collaboration with Swesif) which resulted in the report Long-term perspectives in financial analysis.

In collaboration with Swesif. Image from Pexels

Researchers:
Emma SjöströmMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Research Fellow at the Department of Marketing and Strategy
Rachelle Belinga, Misum Affiliated Researcher
Hanna Setterberg, Misum Affiliated Researcher

Corporate restructuring and the mental health of employees

We study the evolution of workers' mental health around corporate restructurings caused by takeovers. Using employer-employee level data linked to individual health records, we document that the incidence of stress, anxiety, depression, psychiatric medication usage, and even suicide increase following acquisitions. These effects are more pronounced for women, "blue-collar" workers, employees with lower innate abilities (IQ and non-cognitive), employees who leave the merging firms in the year of the transaction, and employees in financially distressed target firms. We show that the negative impact on the mental health of the average employee is of similar magnitude as the positive effect of marriage, but smaller than the effect of other marked events in workers' lives, such as divorce and protracted unemployment. Image from Pexels

Researchers:
Ramin Baghai, Misum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Associate Professor at the Department of Finance, SSE
Marieke Bos, Misum Affiliated Researcher and Deputy Director, Swedish House of Finance 
Laurent Bach, ESSEC Business School Paris
Rui Silva, Nova School of Business and Economics

Shades of green: why firms issue green bonds

We study the economic function of the market for corporate green bonds. We develop a simple theoretical framework of green bond issuance in a setting where investors who value sustainability can invest in both the debt and equity of firms. We test model predictions using a unique database of green bond issuance and secondary market bond prices. To calculate the relative price of green bonds, we match green bonds with similar ordinary bonds of the same issuer. Green bonds have lower yields. The relationship between the overall sustainability of a firm’s assets and the benefits from the green bond issuance is inverse U-shaped: intermediately sustainable firms benefit the most from this market. Our results demonstrate how credit markets have an advantage (over equity markets) in allowing differential costs of capital for investments of the same firm but with different sustainability. Image from Pexels

Researchers:
Ramin BaghaiMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Director and Associate Professor at the Department of Finance, SSE
Bo Becker, Professor at the Department of Finance, SSE
Peter Feldhütter, Copenhagen Business School

Sustainable finance campaigns and NGO engagement with finance in Sweden

This project is an interview-based empirical study of the landscape of sustainability-related activist and NGO engagement with the financial sector in Sweden. The study focuses on campaigns and projects that either specifically target climate change or include it along with other aspects of environmental and social sustainability. In the past decade, environmental and human rights NGOs have increasingly targeted financial actors, including pension funds, banks and asset managers, demanding changes such as for example more stringent legislation, divestment from fossil fuels and other activities with negative environmental and human impacts, and more transparency. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the NGOs perspectives on finance and the roles they play in the transformation of the financial sector.

This project is co-funded by the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre. Photo by Svetlana Gross. 

Researcher:
Svetlana Gross, PhD Student at the Department of Management and Organization

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