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Socially Responsible Investment: Global Convergence or Local Divergence?

  • Céline Louche

Abstract

The chapter conceptualizes the mechanisms that sustain the development of socially responsible investment (SRI). Empirical observations show that SRI has gained unprecedented momentum worldwide in recent years and has diffused on a global scale. The idea of SRI started several hundred years ago (Domini 2001). It was at that time a curiosity and a niche market phenomenon. No one would have ever expected SRI to grow beyond a marginal movement and cross national boundaries. Today, in 2008, SRI is embraced in most countries around the world — Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. The diffusion of SRI is characterized by the increase of SRI funds. Between 1995 and 2007, the number of SRI funds in the US has almost multiplied by five, from 55 to 260 (US SIF 2008) and by eight in Europe from 54 to 437 (SIRI Group 2002, 2007). Another feature of the development of SRI is the diversification of SRI-related products. SRI shifted from one single approach based on exclusion, also called “sin stocks,” to multiple approaches offering different strategies able to satisfy a variety of growing demands.

Keywords

Corporate Social Responsibility Business Ethic Global Convergence Socially Responsible Investment Responsible Investment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Céline Louche 2009

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  • Céline Louche

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