This paper explores how cross-country differences in empathy can explain variations in corporate social responsibility (CSR). We show that empathy is positively associated with overall CSR, as well as with its social and environmental components. Our results are robust to using the two components of empathy, empathic concern and perspective taking. Our findings are further corroborated by evidence from a quasi-natural experiment based on the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. We find that during the year of the disaster and the following year, firms located in countries with high levels of empathy donated more money than firms located in countries with less empathy.
- Corporate social responsibility
- Emerging markets
- Empathic concern
- Perspective taking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics