Title

Demographic Profile of Socially Responsible Investors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2010

Abstract

Purpose– Given the size and growing importance of socially responsible (SR)‐related funds and investments, the purpose of this paper is to see if those who invest in socially responsible investments (SRIs) conform to a particular profile and if that profile is significantly different than that of a typical investor.Design/methodology/approach– This study surveyed a large group of US‐based, well‐informed, individual investors, members of the American Association of Individual Investors. The survey respondents included both those who invest according to SRI principles, and those with no interest in SRI, to determine if demographic differences exist.Findings– The paper finds that the typical SR investor is female and more likely to be single, younger, less wealthy, and better educated than their non‐SR counterparts.Research limitations/implications– Further research is needed to determine if the higher risk aversion of women and their greater concern for the environment found in previous studies is responsible for the results.Practical implications– Given the statistically significant differences, additional efforts must be made to convince wealthier and male investors of the merits of socially responsible investing.Originality/value– This is the first paper to use individuals who have committed resources to SR to compare their demographic characteristics to investors who have not invested in SRI products as distinct groups. Second, this is the first study to compare these groups using US investor data and to measure the statistical significance of the demographic factors.

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