Investigating the varying relevance of CSR dimensions on firm leverage: The implications for internationalized firms

Asif Saeed , Mah Noor , Teerooven Soobaroyen, Ammar Ali Gull *

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We empirically investigate the varying role of CSR dimensions such as community, diversity, employee relations, environment, human rights, and product on US firms’ leverage. Overall CSR performance and dimensions relating to diversity, employee relations and environment are negatively associated to firm leverage, implying easier access to equity financing. Contrastingly, the human rights dimension is positively associated to firm leverage. For internationalized firms, particularly operating in non-environmentally sensitive industries, the relationship is however reversed for overall CSR performance and dimensions related to diversity, employee relations and environment, while community performance is negatively associated to firm leverage. Drawing on the stakeholder theory of capital structure and stakeholder salience, we highlight the heterogeneous consequences of CSR dimensions as channels that both enable and limit access to equity financing. Our results are robust to alternative explanations and proxies and highlight the need for managing specific CSR dimension performance, the more so when operating multi-nationally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102409
Number of pages21
JournalResearch in International Business and Finance
Early online date28 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • CSR performance
  • CSR dimensions
  • Leverage
  • Internationalization
  • ; Environmentally-sensitive industries.


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