ESG, risk, and (tail) dependence

Karoline Bax, Özge Sahin, Claudia Czado, Sandra Paterlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


While environmental, social, and governance (ESG) trading activity has been a distinctive feature of financial markets, the debate if ESG scores can also convey information regarding a company's riskiness remains open. Regulatory authorities, such as the European Banking Authority (EBA), have acknowledged that ESG factors can contribute to risk. Therefore, it is important to model such risk dependencies and quantify what part of a company's riskiness can be attributed to the ESG scores. This paper aims to question whether ESG scores can be used to provide information on (tail) riskiness. By analyzing the (tail) dependence structure of companies with a range of ESG scores, that is within an ESG rating class, using high-dimensional vine copula modeling, we are able to show that risk can also depend on and be directly associated with a specific ESG rating class. Empirical findings on real-world data show positive not negligible ESG risks determined by ESG scores, especially during the 2008 crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102513
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Dependence
  • ESG scores
  • Risk
  • Tail dependence
  • Vine copula models


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