Relevance of voluntary environmental and social reporting in the French context: Does CSR assurance matter?

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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting is of high importance for firms that wish to communicate their environmental and social actions to stakeholders and society at large. Of course, the credibility of CSR reporting affects considerably the market reaction to the information provided. Although research on environmental and social reporting is important, empirical evidence regarding the relevance of environmental and social disclosure to firms’ market values is scarce. This paper specifically analyzes the moderating role of external CSR assurance on the relationship between voluntary environmental and social reporting and firm market value. A content analysis index is then developed based on disclosure items specified in the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. Using hand-collected data on a sample of French companies, the authors find that CSR assurance has a negative moderating effect on the relationship between high environmental and social reporting and firms’ market value, raising questions about the role of external assurance in assessing CSR reporting credibility.

Acknowledgment
The authors sincerely thank three anonymous reviewers of Environmental Economics for their insightful comments on a previous version of the paper.

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    • Table 1. Variables used in the regression analysis
    • Table 2. Regression of Tobin’s q on CSR reporting and CSR assurance
    • Table 3. Regression of Tobin’s q on high CSR reporting and CSR assurance
    • Table A1. Pairwise correlation matrix
    • Conceptualization
      Amira Lajmi
    • Data curation
      Amira Lajmi
    • Formal Analysis
      Amira Lajmi
    • Investigation
      Amira Lajmi
    • Methodology
      Amira Lajmi
    • Resources
      Amira Lajmi
    • Software
      Amira Lajmi
    • Validation
      Amira Lajmi
    • Visualization
      Amira Lajmi
    • Writing – original draft
      Amira Lajmi, Gilles Paché
    • Writing – review & editing
      Amira Lajmi, Gilles Paché
    • Project administration
      Gilles Paché
    • Supervision
      Gilles Paché