Responsible Investment: Taxes and Paradoxes

Reijo Knuutinen, Matleena Pietiläinen
  • Nordic Tax Journal, December 2017, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/ntaxj-2017-0010

The role of tax issues on the ESG agenda is unclear

What is it about?

Many private investors want to invest their money in a responsible way. On the other hand, many institutional investors providing services to private investors are committed to sustainable and responsible investment (SRI), that is, along with normal investment criteria, they base their analysis and investment decisions on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. It is quite obvious that taxation is then an important issue as well. However, according to the empirical findings of this study, based on interviews of institutional investors in Finland, the role and significance of tax issues in the ESG analysis, in practice, is unclear.

Why is it important?

This study can be located at the interface of the legal and economic disciplines. From a legal research point of view, however, the question is not a matter of dogmatic legal research, but rather one of setting the boundaries of law. From an economic research point of view, this study could be located mainly in the accounting and financing realm, as it involves clarifying information use and the needs of institutional investors, and evaluating the links between CSR reporting and ESG analyses. The article is one of the first empirical research papers of this theme.


Reijo Knuutinen
University of Turku

Writing this article was an exciting experience because my co-author is working on Business and Economics (Accounting) side. This article is a part of the Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) project ( Reijo Knuutinen is a member of the SMART project and Matleena Pietiläinen has collaborated with the project. TheSMART project has received funding fromthe EuropeanUnion’sHorizon 2020 research and innovation programunder grant agreement No 693642.

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The following have contributed to this page: Reijo Knuutinen and Matleena Pietiläinen