Social capital during the coronavirus pandemic: the value of corporate benevolence

In this paper, we explore market reaction to announcements of corporate donations associated with the COVID-19 crisis. Companies with larger firm size, higher leverage, higher institutional ownership, and higher ESG rankings are more likely to donate COVID relief. We observe statistically significant positive abnormal returns over the event window, driven by a subsample of community relief funds. Our results support the notion of a strategic, reputational premium for participating firms. Consistent with signalling theory, we find firms without ESG scores show positive share price responses to corporate benevolence announcements. This finding suggests the market is less likely to anticipate corporate acts of benevolence from firms with missing ESG scores. Our findings suggest that the market positively reacts to corporate philanthropy news during a crisis. The strongest stock market reaction is related to those firms with missing or less favourable ESG scores.



Work Title Social capital during the coronavirus pandemic: the value of corporate benevolence
Open Access
  1. Greg Filbeck
  2. Eric Robbins
  3. Xin Zhao
  1. COVID-19
  2. ESG
  3. Social capital
  4. Corporate benevolence
  5. Social responsibility
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Applied Economics
Publication Date September 19, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited February 17, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Filbeck_2022_Social_capital_during_the_coronavirus_pandemic_the_value_of_corporate_benevolence.pdf
  • Added Creator Greg Filbeck
  • Added Creator Eric Robbins
  • Added Creator Eric Robbins
  • Added Creator X Zhao
  • Added Creator Xin Zhao
  • Added Creator M Filbeck
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • COVID-19, ESG, Social capital, Corporate benevolence, Social responsibility
    Publication Date
    • 2021-09-01
    • 2021-09-19
  • Deleted Creator Eric Robbins
  • Deleted Creator X Zhao
  • Deleted Creator M Filbeck
  • Updated Creator Xin Zhao
  • Updated