Journal of Applied Corporate Finance Call for Papers

For the Spring 2019 Issue on “Institutional and Market Innovation for Sustainable Finance”

The Spring 2019 issue of the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance will be devoted to “Institutional and Market Innovation for Sustainable Finance.” This will be the sixth in the JACF’s series of issues on sustainability.

The first, published in the Spring of 2012, consisted of 12 articles by a mix of academics and practitioners discussing corporate investments that alleviate environmental and other social problems while also still earning competitive returns for shareholders. The second such issue, in the Summer of 2013, focused on how large influential investors use ESG criteria in decisions, particularly the small but growing group of successful “value-based” investors who have used ESG analysis and see significant economic value in corporate ESG investments. The Spring 2015 issue extended and deepened the understanding of how, in conjunction with financial criteria, the right ESG metrics can provide professional investors with a significant edge.

The fourth and fifth issues, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, focused on the relationship between sustainability and shareholder value. The contributors, predominantly practitioners rather than academics, emphasized the importance of ESG “integration” into all the decision-making processes of asset management institutions. The lead article in the 2017 issue, by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope, emphasized the leadership of private enterprises and local governments, rather than national and international bodies, in advancing environmental and social goals, particularly those relating to climate change.

The next issue, the sixth in the series will focus on ESG related developments in financial markets and on what ESG innovations appear to be successful and which ones less so. Has ESG data quality improved and what where can gains next be made? How have financial institutions reacted to the opportunities that have presented themselves? What sustainable development goals appear most relevant to investors? How do active investors and passive (i.e. index) investors differ in the approach to, and influence on, ESG criteria?

We invite submissions that explore the current state of the ESG art and recent capital markets innovations that represent achievements in sustainable finance. The deadline for papers is March 31, 2019, and they would appear in the Spring 2019 issue of the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. If you are interested in submitting a paper for this issue, please contact any (or all) of the following:

    • George Serafeim, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. Please email George at

Best Regards,

John McCormack