Dutch academics Rob Bauer, Kees Koedijk and Roger Otten received the Moskowitz Prize for outstanding research in the field of socially responsible investing.
The trio won $2,500 in prize money for their study, "International Evidence on Ethical Fund Performance and Investment Style." They used performance attribution to compare the risk-adjusted returns of mutual funds that screen for ethical concerns with returns of unscreened funds and found no statistical difference. The study compared returns of 103 U.S., U.K. and German ethical mutual funds with returns of 4,384 "conventional" funds from January 1990 to March 2001.
According to a news release from the Social Investment Forum, Washington, the study was the first to use performance attribution to analyze all socially responsible funds. Previous studies compared ethical funds with market indexes.
The Moskowitz Prize has been awarded annually since 1996 by the Social Investment Forum, a national non-profit membership association dedicated to the concept, practice and growth of socially and environmentally responsible investing. It honors Milton Moskowitz, senior editor of Business and Society Review and one of the first researchers to publish comparisons of returns of screened vs. unscreened funds. He co-wrote the 1984 bestseller The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America and compiles Forbes' annual list of those companies.
The three winners are all employed at universities in the Netherlands, and Mr. Bauer is also director of manager research in the investment management department of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen.