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Corporate Social Responsibility and Equity-Holder Risk in the Hospitality Industry

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

Published online on


This study examined whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) enhances firm value for shareholders, who ultimately fund a firm’s CSR initiatives. Specifically, we investigated the relationship between the CSR activities of a hospitality firm and the risks associated with equity holding of the firm. Using MSCI Environmental, Social, and Governance ratings from 1991 to 2008, we measured the extent of CSR efforts of firms and tested the effect of CSR on two different types of equity-holder risks (i.e., systematic and unsystematic risks) across four segments in the hospitality industry (airlines, hotels, casinos, and restaurants). CSR was found to reduce the systematic risk of restaurants and casinos firms significantly, whereas it had no significant influence on the unsystematic risk in any of the segments. The results of this study have important theoretical and practical implications to the academia and the hospitality industry.