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.

Investing in a just transition

Just transition

Climate change and the just transition: a guide for investor action

A ‘just transition’ for workers and communities as the world’s economy responds to climate change was included as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Economic inequality

Income inequality

Why and how investors can respond to income inequality

Institutional investors are increasingly realising that income inequality—the gap in income and wealth between the very affluent and the rest of society—has become one of the most noteworthy socioeconomic issues of our time.

Success factors in corporate engagement

The PRI commissioned two projects from its call for research on the factors for success in corporate engagement.

  1. The findings from How ESG engagement creates value for investors and companies, led by Professor Jean-Pascal Gond (Cass Business School, City University), are now available:

Missing image role (spin2_TOP_oneColumn_thumb_column1_colour1)

How ESG engagement creates value for investors and companies

This piece of research, commissioned by the PRI, looks at how ESG engagement creates value for both companies and investors, amid growing evidence that engagement by investors with companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can create shareholder value.

  1. Initial findings from How institutional investors’ collective engagement on ESG issues create value for investors and corporations: A configurational analysis, led by Professor Elroy Dimson (Judge Business School, Cambridge University, London Business School; Chair of Strategy Council, Norwegian GPFG; Director of FTSE International), are available here.

Call for Papers and Academic Network Conference 2019

The 11th PRI Academic Network Conference will be held in Paris on 9 September 2019. We are inviting submissions to the call for papers on responsible investment topics to showcase at the conference.

If you would like to submit a paper, please email us by 5 April 2019. Submitted papers will be considered for awards in the following categories: the best qualitative paper, the best quantitative paper and the best student paper.

Registration for the conference opens in January 2019.

Partnership opportunities

The PRI is offering a suite of exciting partnership packages for the 2019 annual Academic Network Conference. 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

Economic inequality

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 below 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.

Why and how might investors respond to economic inequality? cover

Why and how might investors 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.

How and where will millennials invest?

Modern portfolio theory is core to finance and how we invest, but in its practical application ESG factors are merely “externalities;” therefore, how can responsible investment ever become “investment” if education treats RI as a module – or does not feature at all? A hot topic at PRI in Person 2018.

Levers, levels and learning: how can investors respond to economic inequality?

Also at PRI in Person in September, the topic of how investors can respond to economic inequality was discussed at the Academic Network conference.

industry framework riq

The future of responsible investment and modern portfolio theory


This is the winning essay of a student competition issued by the PRI on “How and where will millennials invest: the missing link between RI and financial education”. Shortlisted articles were presented by the students at PRI in Person 2018 in San Francisco. The authors are Saphira Rekker and Anne-Claire ...

Notebook technology 118768450 copy

Technology and ethics: what should investors consider?


Technology has improved our standard of living, but the rapid pace of development has also created ethical dilemmas for companies and poses significant challenges for regulatory bodies.

The 2018 investor climate calendar


2018 will be an important year in the race against time to safeguard the environment.

Social cohesion and inclusive growth: Investment risks and opportunities


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

RIQ 12 cover

RI Quarterly vol. 12: Highlights from the Academic Network Conference and PRI in Person 2017


At a time of heightened political and societal sensitivity, the debates that took place at the PRI Academic Network Conference 2017 were brought into sharp focus.

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.

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”.

Business people meeting 124923566 copy

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.

Business team meeting 178533569 copy

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.

Pen on the investment chart with calculator 71403175 copy

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.

all RI Quarterly articles