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2011 Moskowitz Prize Will Recognize Best Sustainable Investing Study

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The Center for Responsible Business at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business issued a call for papers on Tuesday for the 2011 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing, an award that recognizes outstanding quantitative research in the field of sustainable and socially responsible investing (SRI).

The $5,000 Moskowitz Prize competition is open to authors of studies relevant to responsible investing. To be considered, studies must be submitted by June 30. These may be published or unpublished, Haas said in a statement, but unpublished studies should be of a quality appropriate for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. 

This year's prize-winning study will be announced at the 22nd Annual SRI in the Rockies Conference of North American investors and investment professionals in New Orleans on Oct. 3.

Sponsors of the 2011 Moskowitz Prize include Rockefeller and Co., Calvert Group, First Affirmative Financial Network, Nelson Capital Management, Neuberger Berman and Trillium Asset Management.

According to the statement, entries are reviewed by an independent jury of scholars and investment professionals. The prize winner is determined based on the practical significance to practitioners of SRI, the appropriateness and rigor of quantitative methods and the novelty of results.

The 2010 Moskowitz Prize was awarded to Rob Bauer and Daniel Hann of Maastricht University and the European Center for Corporate Engagement for their paper entitled “Corporate Environmental Management and Credit Risk.” Focusing on 582 U.S.-based corporations between 1995 and 2006, the Bauer-Hann study examined the effects of corporate environmental management on the interest rates that companies pay for corporate bonds, and "demonstrated for the first time the effect of environmental management on credit risk and the cost of corporate debt," according to the statement.

The Moskowitz Prize has been awarded since 1996 to encourage and recognize outstanding academic research on matters germane to the SRI field. Named for Milton Moskowitz, one of the first investigators to publish comparisons of the financial performance of screened and unscreened portfolios, the prize was originally created as a project of the Social Investment Forum; it came under the administrative umbrella of the Center for Responsible Business in 2005.