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Do Ethical Funds Underperform Conventional Funds? - Empirical Evidence from India

International Journal of Business Ethics in Developing Economies

Volume 4 Issue 2

Published: 2015
Author(s) Name: Vanita Tripathi, Varun Bhandari | Author(s) Affiliation: Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
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Abstract

One of the significant developments in the investing community is the rise of socially responsible or ethical investments during last two decades. Because of the increasing size and importance of ethical mutual funds, this paper seeks to evaluate and compare the performance of ethical mutual funds with general funds and benchmark index (S&P BSE Shariah 500 Equity Index) in the Indian market. The sample comprises six ethical fund schemes and three general fund schemes of Tauras mutual fund over the period 2009-2014 using weekly NAVs. The study uses return, risk, risk-adjusted measures (Sharpe ratio, Treynor ratio, Jensens alpha and information ratio), Famas decomposition measure, paired samples t-test, and growth regression equation to accomplish the objectives. The findings suggest that some of the ethical funds generated significantly higher return than other funds and benchmark index. Despite having higher risk, ethical funds outperformed other funds and benchmark index on the basis of various risk-adjusted measures and net selectivity returns. This indicates that the compromise made with respect to diversification by investing in ethical funds was well rewarded in terms of higher returns in Indian context. Our findings lend support to the case of ethical investing in India. Mutual funds and other investment funds should launch schemes which invest in socially responsible or ethical stocks.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethical Investing, Famas Decomposition Measure, Mutual Funds, Socially Responsible Investing

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