A paper by Professor Allen Ferrell ’95, “Socially Responsible Firms,” has been ranked number two on the Journal of Financial Economics’ (JEF) list of the most cited articles since 2016. The paper is co-authored with Hao Liang of Le Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, and Luc Renneboog of Tilburg University. Using data on firms from around the world and by means of an instrumental variable approach, the paper finds that well-governed firms—meaning firms generally run so as to maximize shareholder value and which suffer from fewer agency problems—engage in more corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Ferrell is the Greenfield Professor of Securities Law at Harvard Law School. He is also a faculty associate at the Kennedy School of Government and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the European Corporate Governance Institute. His current research involves the value-added of lawyers in litigation, relationship between firm transparency and securities litigation, and the use of bond pricing models. Ferrell was ranked number 22 on the Social Science Research Network‘s (SSRN) list of the 100 most-cited law school professors of all time (as of January 2019).

The Journal of Financial Economics is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering theoretical and empirical topics in financial economics. It provides a specialized forum for the publication of research in the area of financial economics and the theory of the firm.