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Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting and Varieties of Capitalism: an International Analysis of State-Led and Liberal Market Economies

ABSTRACT

Different studies carried out to date in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) field have focused on analysing certain explanatory factors of CSR reporting in different countries or individual factors, such as firm size, activity sector, good corporate governance, economic and financial profitability, and the cost of equity capital, among others. In contrast, other aspects of national cultures and institutions that make up the macroeconomic, legal, and political context of a country have been addressed to a lesser extent. This paper analyses how aspects of national institutions affect CSR reporting on an international level using the varieties of the capitalism approach. This approach is concerned with companies and the ways in which they interact strategically to solve the coordination problems that arise from their activities. The study uses data from the Thomson Reuters Eikon database and the Global Reporting Initiative (G3.1) for a sample of firms from countries classified as state-led market economies (France, Portugal, and Spain) and countries considered liberal market economies (the USA and the UK). The results obtained by linear regression show those companies in state-led market economies disclose more concerning CSR than companies in liberal market economies. Moreover, firms in state-led market economies disclose more on stakeholder aspects such as social, environmental and business behaviour than companies in liberal market economies. This may be due to coercive pressure, that is, the existence of a significant and well-developed legal system that seeks to protect stakeholders and is not exclusively oriented towards shareholder interests. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment