Can water mutual funds aid sustainable development?

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We conduct the first comparative analysis of the financial performance of global water mutual funds with conventional, ecology and natural resources mutual funds. Based on a unique sample of 88 water, 198 ecology, 370 natural resources, and 7,437 conventional mutual funds covering the 2008–2017 period, we contrast the financial performance of these four different fund types. On average, water mutual funds perform comparably to conventional mutual funds and outperform ecology and natural resources funds. The performance dynamics is linked to the state of the economy, such that the outperformance by water mutual funds is not observed when markets are bearish. Overall, fund risk-adjusted performance is predominantly driven by investor activity, especially with regards to their perception of environmental regulatory risk profiles of funds' constituents.




Ibikunle, G., & Martí-Ballester, C. P. (2022). Can water mutual funds aid sustainable development? International Journal of Finance and Economics, 27(1), 1173–1190.

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