Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks have been attracting academic interest since rating agencies started issuing ESG risk scores. This sudden change has raised questions about whether scholars conceptualize ESG risks according to (or despite) practitioners. Though mostly overlooked in previous literature, this is not a trivial issue insofar as it could allow scholars to determine whether ESG research and practitioners’ views/actions (market practices) overlap. Furthermore, there has been no systematization of the way in which ESG risks have been examined in previous ESG portfolio studies. To bridge these gaps, this paper presents a systematic literature review, conducted using bibliometrix software to analyze a sample of 170 papers, published across 88 journals between 1996 and 2021. The most significant finding is that ESG research and market practices significantly overlap. Based on this and other results, four future research directions are outlined to help scholars advance the debate on ESG risks.
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