(Bloomberg) -- Investors are more likely to buy ESG and sustainable funds when they are feeling down, according to a new study.

A paper from researchers at Audencia, the Auckland University of Technology and the University of Adelaide found that when investors were feeling pessimistic or depressed, they made greater investments into sustainable assets.

“This is arguably due to a greater risk aversion pushing investors to favor sustainable investments that they perceive as less risky,” Alexandre Garel, a lecturer at Audencia, said in a press release. 

The researchers tested two competing theories on the role of mood, the first on depression leading to more caution and the second on a positive mood promoting greater altruism. They found that when there’s an increase in seasonal depression, capital inflows into high-sustainability funds rise.

Sustainable funds and products have soared in popularity in recent years as more focus turns to the global climate crisis and renewable energy. ESG assets are expected to reach $41 trillion in value this year and surge to $60 trillion by 2024, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

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