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A Real Options Approach to Abatement Investments and Green Goodwill

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  • Tommy Lundgren

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Abstract

In this paper we adopt the green goodwill argument as to why firms voluntarily invest in abatement capital. We investigate the effects on the abatement investment decision of changes in uncertainty about future green goodwill, competitor abatement investments, regulations, etc., using a real options framework. Our results indicate that increased uncertainty about consumers' willingness to pay for “green” products in the future discourage voluntary abatement investments. The model also suggests that voluntary abatement investments are promoted by an increased threat of regulation and competitor abatement investments. Furthermore, the benefit-cost ratio of the abatement investment project, at the point where it is optimal to invest, is independent of what regulatory regime (stringent or lenient) the firm operates in. We also conclude that despite the fact that voluntary abatement investment exists, there may still be room for environmental policy. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 17-31

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:25:y:2003:i:1:p:17-31

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: abatement capital; environmental policy; irreversibility; uncertainty;

References

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  1. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
  2. Hartl, R.F. & Kort, P.M., 1995. "Capital accumulation of a firm facing an emissions tax," Discussion Paper 1995-78, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Runar Brannlund & Karl-Gustaf Lofgren, 1996. "Emission Standards and Stochastic Waste Load," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(2), pages 218-230.
  4. Robert S. Pindyck, 1990. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 3307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard F. Hartl, 1992. "Optimal Acquisition of Pollution Control Equipment Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(5), pages 609-622, May.
  6. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  7. Farzin, Y H & Kort, P M, 2000. " Pollution Abatement Investment When Environmental Regulation Is Uncertain," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(2), pages 183-212.
  8. Hamilton James T., 1995. "Pollution as News: Media and Stock Market Reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 98-113, January.
  9. Bengt Kristrom & Tommy Lundgren, 2003. "Abatement investments and green goodwill," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(18), pages 1915-1921.
  10. Merton, Robert C., 1975. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Working papers 787-75., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Robert D. Klassen & Curtis P. McLaughlin, 1996. "The Impact of Environmental Management on Firm Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1199-1214, August.
  12. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1996. "Why Do Firms Volunteer to Exceed Environmental Regulations? Understanding Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 413-432.
  13. Beavis, Brian & Dobbs, Ian M., 1986. "The dynamics of optimal environmental regulation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 415-423, September.
  14. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Lundgren, Tommy & Olsson, Rickard, 2008. "How Bad is Bad News? Assessing the Effects of Environmental Incidents on Firm Value," Sustainable Investment and Corporate Governance Working Papers 2008/1, Sustainable Investment Research Platform.
  2. Francisco J. André & Abderrahmane Sokri & Georges Zaccour, 2009. "Public Disclosure Programs vs. Traditional Approaches for Environmental Regulation: Green Goodwill and the Policies of the Firm," Working Papers 09.02, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  3. Lundgren, Tommy, 2007. "On the Economics of Corporate Responsibility," Sustainable Investment and Corporate Governance Working Papers 2007/3, Sustainable Investment Research Platform.
  4. Sunderasan Srinivasan & Raj Singh, 2010. "The persistence of green goodwill," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 825-837, October.

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