Working Paper
The transmission of socially responsible behaviour through international trade

We investigate the relationship between the corporate social responsibility practices of local domestic firms and their engagement with foreign markets using four waves of panel data on a sample of more than 4,500 manufacturing firms from Vietnam. We develop a measure of corporate social responsibility that combines compliance with labour standards, management commitment to corporate social responsibility, and community activities.

We find a strong relationship between engagement in international markets and the corporate social responsibility activities of firms, with the exception of trade with China. Results suggest that firms in export-intensive sectors engage in more corporate social responsibility activities, while those in sectors with higher levels of imports engage in less.