Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Engagement on ESG issues by Dutch pension funds : is it reaching its full potential?
Wagemans, Frank A.J. ; Koppen, C.S.A. van; Mol, Arthur P.J. - \ 2018
Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment 8 (2018)4. - ISSN 2043-0795 - p. 301 - 322.
ESG - pension funds - Responsible investment - shareholder engagement - Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

In socially responsible investment (SRI), engagement forms one of the core strategies of institutional investors. In investigating the case of Dutch pension funds, this study answers the following questions: what networks shape engagement with investees, and what factors determine the effectiveness of engagement? The methods we used were interviews and a multiyear survey. Engagement was practised by 82% of the largest Dutch pension funds in 2016 and was implemented by asset managers and service providers. However, these actors are isolated from actors outside the financial sector. The legitimacy of the investor influences the effectiveness of engagement, whereas the number of shares is less important. The relationship between the engager and investee and the receptivity of the investee towards engagement are also of importance. Engagement can be made more effective when pension funds focus on specific themes, target companies open to engagement, and also seek collaboration with societal and policy actors.

Predicting pension beneficiaries’ behaviour when offered a socially responsible and impact investment portfolio
Apostolakis, George ; Dijk, Gert van; Blomme, Robert J. ; Kraanen, Frido ; Papadopoulos, Athanasios P. - \ 2018
Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment 8 (2018)3. - ISSN 2043-0795 - p. 213 - 241.
confidence - cooperatives - Impact investment - pension funds - perceived consumer effectiveness - social responsible investment - SRI - sustainable investment - TPB

In recent years, financial and demographic conditions, including low interest rates and volatile equity markets, have been testing the endurance of pension systems. Concern about the sustainability of pension systems has prompted discussion about introducing individual choices under the collective choice mandate. An ongoing discussion seeks to provide more freedom of choice and to shift towards a more individualized risk system within the collective mandate. This suggested individualization will increase operational costs but aims to keep pensions at current levels by shifting risk onto employees. Following the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the objective of this paper is to examine pension beneficiaries’ intention to adopt a portfolio consisting of socially responsible and impact investments. We employ confirmatory factor and regression analyses to better understand pension beneficiaries’ attitudes, social norms, perceived consumer effectiveness, and intentions for such a choice. Responses from 637 respondents from a Dutch pension administrative organization were collected and identified as a valid sample. Consistent with the theory, the results of our analysis revealed that attitudes and social norms positively affected individuals’ intention to invest in this specific portfolio. Furthermore, we expand our model and incorporate perceived consumer effectiveness and consumer confidence as important factors influencing and moderating socially responsible behaviour, respectively. Our results imply that understanding the behavioural determinants affecting pension beneficiaries’ intentions can be an effective tool for increasing their involvement in pension affairs by making their own choices. Our findings yield policy recommendations for stimulating socially responsible investment behaviour in pension beneficiaries by examining the determinants of human behaviour.

Examining socially responsible investment preferences : A discrete choice conjoint experiment
Apostolakis, George ; Dijk, Gert van; Kraanen, Frido ; Blomme, Robert J. - \ 2018
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance 17 (2018). - ISSN 2214-6350 - p. 83 - 96.
Conjoint analysis - Impact investing - Institutional investors - Pension funds - Psychological distance - SRI
Using a hierarchical Bayesian estimation of a discrete choice conjoint model, this research examines preferences for different responsible investment characteristics from the perspective of pension beneficiaries. We conducted a choice-based conjoint experiment in which participants were invited to select a preferred investment portfolio among different options by combining attributes such as socially responsible investments and impact investments. Based on a sample of 334 respondents, the results show the utility and relative importance that members of the administrative organization of a Dutch pension fund with a cooperative structure attach to the socially responsible portfolio. Latent class analysis yielded three segments of pension beneficiaries with different levels of psychological distance toward socially responsible investments.
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