Mandatory CSR reporting and the effect on debt financing: A study on private Swedish firms
Sammanfattning: The topic of CSR has become increasingly important in the last decades, however the empirical evidence on both the economic effects of CSR reporting on the cost of debt and on private firms are limited and inconclusive. In this thesis, we address the gap in this novel area of literature. We examine the economic effects of mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting on private firms' cost of debt. The study follows a quantitative method using data from the Swedish database Serrano, studying Swedish private firms during the post-enforcement period 2017-2020. Exploiting discontinuous CSR reporting requirements assigned to otherwise similar private firms, a multivariate regression discontinuity design is applied to investigate the effects of adopting a CSR reporting mandate around the threshold. The main results do not show any statistically significant evidence for a relationship between the CSR reporting mandate and Swedish private firms' cost of debt. The results are robust both to a matched sample and a trimmed sample. However, we point out the possibility that similar tests could generate different results in a future different regulatory context.
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