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The Reputational Penalties for Environmental Violations: Empirical Evidence

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  • Karpoff, Jonathan M
  • Lott, John R, Jr
  • Wehrly, Eric W

Abstract

This paper examines the sizes of the fines, damage awards, remediation costs, and market value losses imposed on companies that violate environmental regulations. Firms that violate environmental laws suffer statistically significant losses in the market value of firm equity. The losses, however, are of similar magnitudes to the legal penalties imposed, and in the cross section, the market value loss is related to the size of the legal penalty. Thus, environmental violations are disciplined largely through legal and regulatory penalties, not through reputational penalties.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 48 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 653-75

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2005:v:48:i:2:p:653-75

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Semenova, Natalia & Hassel, Lars, 2008. "Industry Risk Moderates the Relation between Environmental and Financial Performance," Sustainable Investment and Corporate Governance Working Papers 2008/2, Sustainable Investment Research Platform.
  2. Knoeber, Charles R. & Walker, Mark D., 2013. "The effect of tougher enforcement on foreign firms: Evidence from the Adelphia perp walk," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 382-394.
  3. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2010. "Environmental Crime and Punishment: Empirical Evidence from the German Penal Code," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 707-726.
  4. Dimmock, Stephen G. & Gerken, William C., 2012. "Predicting fraud by investment managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 153-173.
  5. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Ziegler, Andreas, 2006. "Environmentally oriented energy policy and stock returns: an empirical analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-79, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Capelle-Blancard, Gunther & Laguna, Marie-Aude, 2010. "How does the stock market respond to chemical disasters?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3187, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Natalia Semenova & Lars G. Hassel, 2008. "Financial outcomes of environmental risk and opportunity for US companies," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 195-212.
  8. Borghesi, Richard & Houston, Joel F. & Naranjo, Andy, 2014. "Corporate socially responsible investments: CEO altruism, reputation, and shareholder interests," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 164-181.
  9. Johnson, William C. & Xie, Wenjuan & Yi, Sangho, 2014. "Corporate fraud and the value of reputations in the product market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 16-39.
  10. Derwall, Jeroen & Koedijk, Kees & Ter Horst, Jenke, 2011. "A tale of values-driven and profit-seeking social investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 2137-2147, August.
  11. Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Ulbricht, Dirk, 2007. "Lost in Transmission? Stock Market Impacts of the 2006 European Gas Crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-030, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Fisher-Vanden, Karen & Thorburn, Karin S., 2011. "Voluntary corporate environmental initiatives and shareholder wealth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 430-445.
  13. Matthew Kahn, 2007. "Environmental disasters as risk regulation catalysts? The role of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island in shaping U.S. environmental law," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 17-43, August.
  14. X. Xu & S. Zeng & C. Tam, 2012. "Stock Market’s Reaction to Disclosure of Environmental Violations: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 227-237, May.
  15. Mehar, Ayub, 2008. "National trade associations, economic development and globalization," MPRA Paper 18590, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Sep 2008.
  16. Cohen, Mark A. & Gottlieb, Madeline & Linn, Joshua & Richardson, Nathan, 2011. "Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, and Economics of Firm Organization and Safety," Discussion Papers dp-10-65, Resources For the Future.
  17. Lyon, Thomas & Lu, Yao & Shi, Xinzheng & Yin, Qie, 2013. "How do investors respond to Green Company Awards in China?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-8.
  18. Armour, John & Mayer, Colin & Polo, Andrea, 2010. "Regulatory Sanctions and Reputational Damage in Financial Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 8058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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