The E-axes Forum on Climate Change, Macroeconomics, and Finance

Julian Kölbel

“The Impact of Climate Engagement: A Field Experiment”

Young Scholars' Webinar on Climate Finance and Economics

From the Abstract: We report results from a pre-registered field experiment about the impact of index provider engagement on corporate climate policy. A randomly chosen group of 300 out of 1227 international companies received a letter from an index provider, encouraging the company to commit to setting a science-based climate target to remain included in its climate transition benchmark indices. After one year, we observed a significant effect: 21.0% of treated companies have committed, vs. 15.7% in the control group. This suggests that engagement by financial institutions can affect corporate policies when a feasible request is combined with a credible threat of exit.


Ishita Sen
Assistant Professor of Finance, Harvard Business School

Organizing Committee

Micahel Barnett , Arizona State University - W. P. Carey School of Business
Diego Kaenzig, Northwestern University
Alissa Kleinnijenhuis, SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University
Parinitha Sastry, Columbia Business School, Columbia University
Ishita Sen, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Conor Walsh, Columbia Business School, Columbia University

Julian Kölbel

Julian Kölbel is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of St.Gallen. Professor Kölbel is also a Swiss Finance Institute faculty member and a research affiliate at MIT Sloan, where he is a co-founder of the Aggregate Confusion Project. His research covers the real-world impact of sustainable investing, analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, and investor preferences for sustainability. Julian has studied at ETH Zurich, the University of Oxford, and has worked as a Post-Doc at MIT Sloan. Professionally, he has worked at Bank Vontobel, RepRisk AG, and is currently a member of the investment committee at the Swiss pension fund Abendrot.

Paper and slides

"The Impact of Climate Engagement: A Field Experiment" (Paper)

"The Impact of Climate Engagement: A Field Experiment" (Slides)



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