Guglielmo Briscese, Nick Feltovich, Robert Slonim, 03 April 2021

Companies often engage in activities of corporate social responsibility such as donating a share of profits to charity. Previous research suggests these initiatives can help attract and motivate workers, even at the cost of giving up part of their compensation. This column presents experimental evidence that shows, however, that when workers can choose who they want to work for, they prefer firms that offer a higher wage, and are attracted by a firm’s corporate social responsibility only when they consider their wage offer as ‘fair’. Further, if companies compensate donations to charity by reducing workers’ wages, this could ultimately harm workers’ wellbeing, depending on the worker’s views on the donations. 

Jean Tirole, 24 November 2017

Market and state failures lead to inefficiencies. In this video, Jean Tirole discusses how corporate social responsibility can help achieve the common good. This video was recorded at the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in September 2017.

Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner, Mathias Thoenig, 09 June 2017

Countries that are rich in natural resources do not always prosper economically. This column uses data on conflict and mineral extraction in Africa to argue that recent rises in mineral prices explain up to a quarter of local conflicts between 1997 and 2010. Mining-induced violence is associated with foreign ownership, although corporate social responsibility policies were associated with less violence. This is relevant to the US debate on whether to scrap the legal requirement to disclose whether products contain conflict minerals. 

Mirco Tonin, Michael Vlassopoulos, 26 July 2012

Money matters, but is that all? This column presents evidence that social incentives can boost productivity in sectors that rely on pro-social behaviour such as health, education, and social care. It argues that this may help explain the growing popularity of Corporate Social Responsibility programmes within firms.

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