Esg disclosure in an emerging market: An empirical analysis of the influence of board characteristics and ownership structure

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Abstract

In the context of greater demand for corporate transparency, there is a growing pressure on boards to produce and communicate information to their investors and stakeholders. The current literature on integrated reporting shows that the provision of ESG information is a crucial factor that improves corporate governance by reducing agency problems. This issue is also critical in emerging economies, and particularly among Latin American firms. The concentration, opacity, and lack of evidence about ESG disclosure in less developed financial markets provide a promising environment to study the implications of board heterogeneity and ownership structure on strategic corporate decisions such as the disclosure of ESG indicators in developing economies. Using Tobit panel data models, we study how these factors affect the extent of ESG disclosure by Chilean listed firms. Our main results suggest that a board’s independence and gender diversity positively influence the extent of disclosure of ESG indicators. Our evidence helps firms concerned with strengthening their board’s features, investors that require screening firms’ ESG risk factors, and supports regulators’ decisions on setting norms regarding the extent of disclosure of ESG information by firms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10498
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Developing countries
  • Environmental, social and governance disclosure
  • Latin America
  • Listed firms

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