Corporate Sustainability Performance and Firm Value: The Value of Third-Party Assurance on Sustainability Reports

dc.contributor.advisorBraam, G.J.M.
dc.contributor.authorJonkman, Olaf
dc.description.abstractDue to the lack of extensive mandatory regulations concerning sustainability reporting, the credibility of the information disclosed by companies regarding their corporate sustainability performance (CSP) is often questioned. In order to legitimize their CSP-claims and obtain competitive advantages, companies may have their sustainability reports voluntarily assured by an independent third party. Nevertheless, companies’ choices regarding the assurance may vary considerably, and so the quality of the provided assurance, due to the voluntary nature of third-party assurance. This study explores whether the relation between CSP and firm value is moderated by third-party assurance incorporating the provider, scope, and level of assurance as assurance quality indicators. Applying an international sample of companies covering the period 2012-2017, the results indicate that companies with a superior CSP have a higher firm value than companies with an inferior CSP. In addition, the positive association between CSP and firm value is stronger for those companies that have their sustainability reports assured by an independent third party. However, for those companies that apply third-party assurance, only companies with a relatively lower CSP seem to benefit in their firm value from assuring their sustainability reports involving higher quality assurance options. Moreover, the effect of third-party assurance is more pronounced for companies in shareholder-oriented countries compared with companies in stakeholder-oriented countries. Collectively, the results support the notion that third-party assurance legitimizes companies’ CSP-claims, increasing companies’ likelihood of realizing CSP-related benefits.en_US
dc.embargo.typePermanent embargoen_US
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Managementwetenschappenen_US
dc.thesis.specialisationAccounting & Controlen_US
dc.thesis.studyprogrammeMaster Economicsen_US
dc.titleCorporate Sustainability Performance and Firm Value: The Value of Third-Party Assurance on Sustainability Reportsen_US
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