New Developments in Social Investing by Public Pensions

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • Public pension funds continue to engage in social investing, most recently divesting from Iran and fossil fuels.
  • However, social investing is often not effective, as other investors step in to buy divested stocks.
  • Social investing can also produce lower investment returns, conflict with the views of beneficiaries and taxpayers, and interfere with federal policy.
  • In short, public pension funds should not engage in social investing.