A Behavioral Economics Approach to a Sustainable Finance Architecture: Development of a Sustainability Taxonomy for Investor Decision Usefulness

Dirk Beerbaum, Julia M. Puaschunder

Research output: Working paperScientific


Globalization has led to an unprecedented correlation of massive global systems causing systemic risk to increase exponentially (Centeno et al., 2013). 10 years after the global financial crisis, what are the lessons learned, what was improved and what still needs to be accomplished? The crucial question remains: has the global financial system and with that the world become less susceptible for a reoccurrence of a financial crisis? What are the factors to achieve a sustainable finance architecture with stable economic markets? In the aftermath of the 2008/09 world financial downturn the interest in understanding non-financial factors and interplay to financial markets increased. A system can only be sustainable if inequality, governance and environmental sustainability is surmounted. According to Beyer et al., significant progress was made in the modelling, as the Global Financial Crisis revealed shortcomings in the model strategy (Beyer et al., 2017). The question arises if also progress is made on social responsibility investing in the securities, selected for social environmental ethical and institutional aspects? Based on the EU led High-Level Expert Group on Sustainability (Cullen, 2018) the EU examines how to integrate sustainability consideration into its financial policy framework. The EU plans to develop a classification system (‘taxonomy’) on what can be considered an environmentally sustainable economic activity. To overcome the climate change challenge, a consensus has a pivotal role to enable to invest in climate friendly investments, which do not turn out to be a false labelling. The global architecture of climate finance is important part of a sustainable finance architecture. Additionally, disclosure regulation is planned that institutional investors integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into their investment-decision making process. In the absence of a globally integrated financial and non-financial framework, this paper tries to put emphasis back on decision-usefulness of the investor and a Sustainability Taxonomy considering the transparency technology Extensible Reporting Mark-up language (XBRL). This working paper tries to bridge early statements about environment and the responsibility for future generations in the financial service sector (Kipper, 2017).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • Sustainability Taxonomy
  • Sustainable Reporting
  • Finance Architecture
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Decision-usefulness and XBRL
  • Climate Change


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