Business and Society

‘The heretics of finance’ lead Berkeley conference

December 19, 2011 | 1 min read

The conference, which attracted top academics and practitioners from around the world, was hosted by FSInsight partner Haas Center for Responsible Business, together with the European Center for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) at Maastricht University.

In addition to sessions focused on the latest research arising in the field of responsible finance, the conference featured a keynote address from Professor Harrison Hong, the John Scully ’66 Professor of Economics and Finance at Princeton University (US).

In introducing his keynote presentation, entitled ‘Quasi-experiments in Corporate Goodness’, Professor Hong noted how good it was to be back at UCB, from which he received his Bachelor’s degree in economics and statistics (with highest distinction) back in 1992.

“I love this place,” he said about the school. “It’s pretty much given me everything – and Berkeley is also the epitome of public goods, and the role of public goods and public universities in research. This conference is about the intersection of finance with public goods,” he continued, “and I’m happy to be joining you – the heretics of the finance profession, who talk about touchy-feely topics like public goodness.”

Thumbnail conference websiteIn ‘Quasi-experiments in Corporate Goodness,’ Professor Hong examinesnot just “how we want to place and frame CSR and SRIs” but squarely faces the regulatory failure of governments (for example, the disappointing lack of governmental commitment to such measures as the Kyoto Protocol). “We cannot depend upon governments to handle the externality of climate change and its impact,” he says, so “how do we get firms to produce more goodness?”

Discussion papers, videos (including that of Professor Hong’s keynote address), and presentations from the conference ‘Finance and Responsible Business Practices’ are available here:


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