SRI Germany

Determinants of sustainable and responsible investments – An empirical analysis of private households in Germany (SRI Germany)

Duration: October 2013 until September 2015

Project coordination: University of Kassel, Chair of Empirical Economic Research

Funding institution: Deutsche Bundesbank

Summary: Corporate social responsibility, i.e. the voluntary implementation of ecological, social, or ethical measures in and by companies has increasingly gained importance in academia in recent years. One central question was whether and to what extent these measures affect the companies’ financial performance. It was also examined whether investors, which had invested in sustainable companies, were successful. For these purposes, studies usually considered the (stock) performance of these companies, sustainable funds, or indexes compared to their conventional counterparts. However, only a few studies focused on motives and characteristics of investors that invest their money in these companies directly or in sustainable investments.

The objective of this project was the empirical examination of individual investment decisions in context of sustainable investments. The empirical analyses were conducted on the basis of data that stem from a representative survey among decision makers in German households. Here, it was the first time that a stated preferences discrete choice experiment was implemented for the examination of private investment decisions between sustainable and conventional investment products. Besides core attributes of the investment products, we specifically identified investors’ characteristics and motives that are most relevant for their investment decisions. The estimation of mean willingness to pay measures further allowed us to state to what extent individuals are willing to sacrifice return in order to invest in sustainable instead of conventional investment products.


Gutsche, Gunnar and Bernhard Zwergel (2020), Information barriers and labeling schemes for socially responsible investments, Schmalenbach Business Review 72, 111-157

Gutsche, Gunnar (2019), Individual and regional christian religion and the consideration of sustainable criteria in consumption and investment decisions: An exploratory econometric analysis, Journal of Business Ethics 157 (4), 1155-1182

Gutsche, Gunnar and Andreas Ziegler (2019), Which private investors are willing to pay for sustainable investments? Empirical evidence from stated choice experiments, Journal of Banking and Finance 102, 193-214

Gutsche, Gunnar, Anja Köbrich León, and Andreas Ziegler (2019), On the relevance of contextual factors for socially responsible investments: An econometric analysis, Oxford Economic Papers 71 (3), 756-776

Gutsche, Gunnar, Christian Klein, Andreas Ziegler, and Bernhard Zwergel (2017), Characterizing German (sustainable) investors, Corporate Finance 8 (3-4), 77-81

Contact: Dr. Gunnar Gutsche (