Incentives, Sustainability, and Law: The relationship between executive pay regulation and corporate social responsibility

Goldhahn, Laurenz (2023) Incentives, Sustainability, and Law: The relationship between executive pay regulation and corporate social responsibility, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in European doctorate in law and economics, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10618.
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What is the relationship between executive pay regulation and corporate social responsibility (CSR)? Currently, CSR is neither sufficiently included in economic research on executive pay, nor is pay regulation considered as a potential instrument in the growing body of CSR legislation. The successful proliferation of CSR in business practice and the attention policymakers and legislators now pay to it, however, have raised the importance of answering these questions. Thus, this blind spot in corporate governance—the relationship between compensation, CSR, and law—is the topic of this thesis. The dissertation approaches these issues in two subsequent research question: first, the role of executive pay regulation as an institutional determinant of CSR engagement is identified. From the results of this, the second research question arises: should legislators promote CSR engagement and—if so—how? Lastly, a case study is conducted to map how the influence of index funds as an important driver of CSR in corporate governance should be accommodated in the design of CSR legislation. The research project shows that pay regulation is part of the institutional determinants of CSR and, depending on its design, can incentivise or discourage different forms of CSR engagement. As a form of private self-regulation, CSR is closely interconnected with legal rules and the result of complex underlying drivers inside and outside the firm. The study develops a differentiation of CSR activities to accommodate this complexity, which is applied in an analysis of pay regulation. Together, these inquiries form a comprehensive picture of the ways in which pay regulation sets incentives for CSR engagement. Finally, the thesis shows how CSR-oriented pay regulation is consistent with the conventional goals of corporate governance and eventually provides a prospect for the integration of CSR and corporate law in general.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Goldhahn, Laurenz
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Corporate social responsibility, sustainability, corporate governance, corporate law, executive compensation, pay regulation, law and economics
Data di discussione
10 Febbraio 2023

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