Academic research

The PRI's academic research programme provides grant funding to support and develop innovative responsible investment research, showcases research findings for an investor audience and convenes a vibrant, global community of nearly 4,000 academics and investors through the Academic Network. To hear more about our academic research work, contact us.

Academic Network Conference 2018

Call for papers

Call for papers 2018

The PRI is proud to collaborate with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis for the tenth Academic Network Conference. We are delighted to announce the conference will again be part of PRI in Person, the largest global conference on responsible investment, and will be held on 11 September at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Aligning with key themes at PRI in Person, we invite submissions of papers that focus on the following topics (with issues provided as examples below):

  • Working to achieve a sustainable financial system
  • The role of responsible investment in meeting today’s investment challenges
  • ESG integration
  • ESG engagement

We encourage both theoretical and empirical contributions from diverse business, finance, and social science disciplines. Selected papers and the PRI Award for Outstanding Research, for the best qualitative, quantitative and student papers, will be presented at the Academic Network Conference.

Application deadline: 2 April 2018

Find out more about the criteria and how to apply

Partnership opportunities

The Academic Network will be offering a suite of partnership packages with its annual conference taking place on the 11th September in San Francisco. Each partnership offers organisations the opportunity to showcase commitment and associate themselves with expertise and research in responsible investment whilst gaining exposure to peers and thought leaders through branding, hosting networking engagements, supporting prizes and bursaries. For more details, please contact the Partnerships team at

Download the brochure

Current reasearch projects

Economic inequality

Four ways for investors to respond to economic inequality

Recent research and discourse on inequality has suggested that economic inequality is growing, may have harmful effects on economic growth, may be a sign of unproductive economic activity, rent-seeking or economic instability and is becoming a concern in political and civil society.

The PRI is commissioning research on economic inequality to support and guide investors in how to respond.

The project was launched with the discussion paper above from the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Harvard Kennedy School, accompanied an international roundtable series held in Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US from June 2016 to April 2017.

Success factors in corporate engagement

The PRI commissioned two projects from its call for research on the factors for success in corporate engagement. We anticipate the results will help signatories to review and implement their engagement strategies more effectively.

Initial findings were presented at PRI in Person, Berlin 2017.

Inclusive capitalism: The impact of global shareholder engagements How institutional investors’ collective engagement on ESG issues create value for investors and corporations: A configurational analysis

Initial findings

Research team:

  • Professor Elroy Dimson, Judge Business School, Cambridge University, London Business School; Chair of Strategy Council, Norwegian GPFG; Director of FTSE International
  • Assistant Professor Oğuzhan Karakaş, Boston College
  • Associate Professor Xi Li, London School of Economics and Temple University

Initial findings

Research team

  • Professor Jean-Pascal Gond, Cass Business School, City University
  • Dr Rieneke Slager, Nottingham University
  • Dr Michael Viehs, Engagement Professional, Hermes EOS
  • Dr Niamh O’Sullivan, Nottingham University
  • Mikael Homanen, PhD student, Cass Business School
  • Szilvia Mosony, PhD student, Cass Business School

Academic Network conference 2017

Papers and presentations
Big data processing ESG integration Sustainable financial system
Invesco’s differentiated Proxy Voting Approach Developing an Evidence Base for Assessing Natural Capital Risks and Dependencies in Lending to Australian Wheat Farms (Presentation) When a Competing Logic Arises: A Cross-National Study of How Environmental Investment Funds Make Firms Greener (Presentation)
Short-Term Investors, Monitoring Blockholders, and Long-Term Corporate Investment BEST STUDENT PAPER
Responsible Investment Requires a Proxy Voting System Responsive to Retail Investors (Presentation)
Investment Horizon and Corporate Social Performance: The Virtuous Circle of Long-Term Institutional Ownership and Responsible Firm Conduct The Present Value Relation Over Six Centuries: The Case of the Bazacle Company (Presentation)
R&D – The Missing Link Between Corporate Social Performance and Financial Performance?
What do ESG Ratings Really Measure? (Presentation)
No News Is Good News: Corporate Social Responsibility Ratings and Fixed Income Portfolios
Behavioural finance Corporate governance Engagement strategies
Promoting Climate-Friendly Investing among Retail Investors: Evidence from a Choice Experiment (Presentation) Dissolving “Deutschland AG” - How “Embeddedness” into New Institutional Investor Networks Contributes to Environmental Reporting (Presentation) Coordinated Engagement (Presentation)
Comparing the Socially Responsible U.S Equity Mutual Funds with Conventional Mutual Funds in Different Economic Regimes (Presentation) Corporate Legal Responsibility and Longer Term Shareholder Value: Evidence from Environmental and Social Fines (Presentation) Engagement Work for Responsible Investment: A Behind-The-Scenes View of Responsible Investment Engagement Processes
Altruism versus Egoism in Investment Decisions (Presentation) Corporate Governance and the Rise of Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility Criteria in Executive Compensation: Antecedents and Outcomes BEST QUALITATIVE PAPER
Governing Responsible Business Conduct through Financial Markets? The Case of French Socially Responsible Investing (Presentation)
ESG and capital markets Financial performance Investors
ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk Does Corporate Social Responsibility Reduce the Costs of High Leverage? Evidence from Capital Structure and Product Markets Interactions Factor Investing and ESG Integration (Presentation)
Valuing Decomposed Carbon Emissions The Price of Taste for Socially Responsible Investment The Materiality of Environmental and Social Shareholder Activism – Who cares?!
Nonlinear Financial Payoffs to Corporate Sustainability (Presentation) Corporate Social and Financial Performance: a Second-Order Meta-Analysis BEST QUANTITATIVE PAPER
The Sustainability Footprint of Institutional Investors (Presentation)
ESG Factors and risk-adjusted performance: a new quantitative model (Presentation)

Empowered millennial RIQ

Handle with care: The empowered millennial


Millennials are more empowered than previous generations and they know what they want: to invest in the “future”.

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How ESG engagement creates value: bringing the corporate perspective to the fore


Corporate engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is on the rise among investors. However, the mechanisms through which value is typically created have hitherto been an underexplored area, particularly from a corporate perspective.

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Local leads, backed by global scale: the drivers of successful engagement


The PRI encourages and facilitates collaborative engagement, yet robust evidence of its effectiveness in driving corporate change and creating value for investors remains elusive.

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Beyond modern portfolio theory – how investors can mitigate systemic risk through the portfolio


The near universally adopted modern portfolio theory (MPT) put forward by Nobel laureate Harry Markowitz in 1952 is blind to the effect of portfolio investment on the capital markets’ overall risk/return profile and on the macro systems upon which the market relies for stability.

Social issues RIQ

Long-term social issues drive economic growth, so why aren't investors behind the wheel?


Long-term social issues – the ‘S’ in ESG – matter for investors. They are key factors determining both long-term GDP growth and the level of equilibrium of interest rates.

Social cohesion and inclusive growth: Investment risks and opportunities


Social cohesion is an increasing concern in the investment sphere, skewing traditional notions and models.

How and where will millennials invest?


Millennials are changing the nature of finance and how it works (or doesn’t), corporations, the investment and pensions industry, and investment itself.

Professor Susan Vinnicombe on The Davies Committee


“It was a very successful campaign.” That is how Professor Susan Vinnicombe describes the outcome of the 2015 Davies Report.

Say on Pay - getting your voice heard


In recent years Say on Pay has become a corporate governance and responsible investment buzzword and has been at the forefront of discussions around executive remuneration.

Opening the Black Box of Board Appointments – women’s and men’s routes to the boardroom


Professor Elisabeth Kelan talks about new report Opening the Black Box of Board Appointments: Women’s and Men’s Routes to the Boardroom and what it reveals about the current state of gender diversity in the boardroom.

all RI Quarterly articles