Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 251-263

First online:

Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the Chemical Industry in the United States

  • Li SunAffiliated withDepartment of Accounting, Miller College of Business, Ball State University Email author 
  • , Marty StuebsAffiliated withDepartment of Accounting and Business Law, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University

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Prior research suggests that participating in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can lead to higher future productivity. However, the empirical evidence is still scarce. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between CSR and future firm productivity in the U.S. chemical industry. Specifically, this study examines the relationship between CSR in year t and firm productivity in year (t + 1), (t + 2), and (t + 3). We use Data Envelopment Analysis, a non-parametric method, to measure firm productivity. Results from the regression analysis support a significantly positive relationship between CSR and future firm productivity, suggesting that CSR can lead to higher productivity in the chemical industry. The findings add to the validity of the proposition in prior research.


Corporate social responsibility Firm productivity Chemical industry