Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Steven Dolvin


Over the past decade, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) has grown at a rapid pace and, by some estimates, now represents a quarter of the $48 trillion in assets under professional management in the United States. At the same time, investors have broadly shifted from active to passive investing strategies. While there is significant research in each of these respective areas, we believe that we are the first to examine whether a socially conscious investor can employ a passive approach or if the constrained nature of SRI necessitates active management. As such, we examine the performance of socially conscious ETFs versus a matched sample of actively managed SRI mutual funds. We find the performance, as a whole, to be insignificantly different between the two groups, suggesting that social investors may be able to follow a passive approach without sacrificing performance.