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Financial industry at the crossroads between current practices and ethical virtues

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Federica Ielasi
Department of Economics and Management - University of Florence

Sara Limberti
Department of Economics and Management - University of Florence

In this paper, we elaborated and presented operational measures for calculating ethical rating in socially responsible investments. Starting from previous literature, we built an entirely innovative model, composed of four macro-classes and 74 indicators, including all the most important types of ethical criteria. The aim is to propose an intuitive instrument that allows institutional or retail investors to choose the most socially responsible investment that is in consonance with their request in terms of ethical issues. Our research collects 57 funds exchanged in the Italian market, and we calculated the ethical rating for each fund. We conclude that equity funds reach the higher average rating level. Nevertheless, our findings indicate that bond debts and ethical funds have a higher result for the macro-criterion ‘screening’, positive and negative, than equity and balanced funds, implying that this kind of SRI applies a deeper screening procedure.


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Key words
Social Responsible investments, Mutual funds, Ethical finance, Ethical rating

Ielasi F., Limberti S. 2015, “A comprehensive ethical rating model for mutual funds' evaluation” in Boitan I., Barbu T. (Eds.) Financial industry at the crossroads between current practices and ethical virtues (Studies in Philosophy, Law and Economics), Sumy: Taadler Publishing House, LTD, pp. 70-92. Available at

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