Purpose: The article analyzes the consequences of transformation in governance structures of stock exchanges on their CSR initiatives, in particular relations between their organizational forms and the number and nature of CSR initiatives as well as their influence on stock exchanges’ performance.
Methodology: In our study covering 40 European stock exchanges, we identified 527 sustainability practices implemented between 1992 and 2019. We divided these practices into two categories: internal, applying to the stock exchange itself, and external, targeted at listed companies. Moreover, we proposed a synthetic indicator of stock exchange development to measure its economic performance.
Findings: We found that publicly traded stock exchanges undertake a greater number of CSR initiatives and have a higher proportion of internal practices, than stock exchanges organized as non-public entities. Our study also indicates that a large number of implemented CSR practices positively affects the economic performance of stock exchanges, and furthermore, that internal practices have a greater impact than external ones.
Research limitations: The surveyed European stock exchanges may differ from stock exchanges in other regions regarding their CSR policies.
Originality: Our study proved that the corporatization of stock exchanges affect their CSR practices. It also showed that some types of sustainability activities affect performance in a more significant way than others.