We examined the impact of including sustainability-related constraints in optimal portfolio decision-making. Our analysis covered an investment set containing the components of the S&P500 index from 1993 to 2008. Optimizations were performed according to the classic mean-variance approach while sustainability constraints were introduced by eliminating, from the investment pool, those assets that do not comply with given social responsibility criteria (screening). We compared the efficient frontiers with and without screening. The analysis focused on the three main dimensions of sustainability and namely the Environmental, Social and Governance ones. We found that socially responsible screening gives rise to a small loss in terms of the Sharpe Ratio even though it has a great impact on the market capitalization of the optimal portfolio. The spanning test showed that the ex-post differences between the two frontiers, when short selling is not allowed, are significant only in the case of Environmental screening.

The cost of sustainability in optimal portfolio decisions

NICOLOSI, MARCO
;
2012

Abstract

We examined the impact of including sustainability-related constraints in optimal portfolio decision-making. Our analysis covered an investment set containing the components of the S&P500 index from 1993 to 2008. Optimizations were performed according to the classic mean-variance approach while sustainability constraints were introduced by eliminating, from the investment pool, those assets that do not comply with given social responsibility criteria (screening). We compared the efficient frontiers with and without screening. The analysis focused on the three main dimensions of sustainability and namely the Environmental, Social and Governance ones. We found that socially responsible screening gives rise to a small loss in terms of the Sharpe Ratio even though it has a great impact on the market capitalization of the optimal portfolio. The spanning test showed that the ex-post differences between the two frontiers, when short selling is not allowed, are significant only in the case of Environmental screening.
2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/172353
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