The Relationship Between Environmental Efficiency and Manufacturing Firm’s Growth
AbstractThis paper investigates the empirical link between emission intensity and economic growth, using a very large data set of 61,219 Italian manufacturing firms over the period 2000-2004. As a measure of lagged environmental performance (efficiency) at firm level we exploit NAMEA sector for CO2, NOx, SOx data over 1990-1999. The paper tests the extent to which (past) environmental efficiency/intensity, which is driven by structural features and firm strategic actions, including responses to policies, influences firms growth. Our results show, first, a typical trade off generally appearing for the three core environmental emissions we analyse: lower environmentally efficiency in the recent past allows higher degrees of freedom to firms and relax the constraints for growth, at least in this short/medium term scenario. Nevertheless, the size of the estimated coefficients is not large. Trade off are significant for two emission indicators out of two, but quite negligible in terms of impacts, besides the case of CO2. For example, growth is reduced by far less than 0.1% in association to a 1% increase of environmental efficiency. Environmental efficiency does not seem a primary cost factor and constraint to growth if compared to other factors affecting firm targets and firm competitiveness. In addition, non-linearity seems to characterise the economic growth-environmental performance relationship. Signals of inverted U shape appears: this may be a signal that both firm strategies and recent policy efforts are affecting the dynamic relationship between environmental efficiency and economic productivity, turning it from an usual trade off to a possible joint complementary/co-dynamics, where bad environmental performances hamper firm growth and investments in greener technologies may be associated to positive economic performances of firms and sectors.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2008.99.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Firm growth; Manufacturing; Emission intensity; Economic performance; Environmental performance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Longitudinal Data; Spatial Time Series
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-01-17 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CSE-2009-01-17 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-EFF-2009-01-17 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-ENE-2009-01-17 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2009-01-17 (Environmental Economics)
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