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HFRC Working Paper Series

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Publikationen von Hamdi Driss

The sustainability committee and environmental disclosure: International evidence

Hamdi Driss, Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | 05/2024 | Forthcoming
This paper contributes to the growing debate about the role of board-level sustainability committees, focusing on whether they leverage sustainability expertise for impactful environmental initiatives or purely serve as symbolic actions aimed at greenwashing. Using a large set of firms from 35 countries over the 2010–2017 period, we find that the presence of a sustainability committee is positively associated with higher-quality GHG emissions disclosure. This finding is robust to endogeneity and sample selection bias concerns. The sustainability committee effect is more pronounced when external environmental institutions are too weak to properly monitor corporate environmental disclosure. Our findings suggest that sustainability committees are not a symbolic management tool, but play a crucial role in enhancing corporate environmental disclosure.

Institutional investment horizons, corporate governance, and credit ratings: International evidence

Hamdi Driss, Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami
HFRC Working Paper Series | Version 01/2021
Using a comprehensive set of firms from 57 countries over the 2000–2016 period, we examine the relation between institutional investor horizons and firm-level credit ratings. Controlling for firm- and country-specific factors, as well as for firm fixed effects, we find that larger long-term (short-term) institutional ownership is associated with higher (lower) credit ratings. This finding is robust to sample composition, alternative estimation methods, and endogeneity concerns. Long-term institutional ownership affects ratings more during times of higher expropriation risk, for firms with weaker internal governance, and for those in countries with lower-quality institutional environments. Additional analysis shows that long-term investors can facilitate access to debt markets for firms facing severe agency problems. These findings suggest that, unlike their short-term counterparts, long-term investors can improve a firm’s credit risk profile through effective monitoring.