Essays on Sustainable Finance

This paper investigates whether certain investors either prefer or dislike holding firms that exploit more of the available regulatory wiggle room and if such a strategy pays off. Exploited wiggle room (WR) is captured by relatively aggressive tax planning, financial reporting, and earnings management practices. I find that long-term, low-turnover investors hold firms
with 3% higher exploited WR than those held by short-term, high-turnover investors. After experiencing financial adviser misconduct that breaches their trust, investors reduce the exploited WR of their holdings by 5%. This is consistent with investors choosing firms according to their preferences for WR. The preferences of investors also impact firm behavior.
Overall, investors seem to have heterogeneous preferences for WR exploitation and a liking for cautious firms that cannot be explained by a profit maximization motive alone.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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