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The cross-section of returns, benchmark model parameters, and idiosyncratic volatility of nuclear energy firms after Fukushima Daiichi


  • Lopatta, Kerstin
  • Kaspereit, Thomas


This study analyzes how the stock market returns, the factor loadings from the Carhart (1997) 4-factor model, and the idiosyncratic volatility of shares in energy firms have been affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident. Unlike existing studies, which provide evidence of a wealth transfer from nuclear to renewable energy firms for specific countries, we use an international sample and investigate whether changes in the regulatory environment and the firm-specific commitment to nuclear and renewable energies correlate with the capital market's reactions to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Our findings suggest that the more a firm relies on nuclear power, the more its share price declined after the accident. A commitment to renewable energies does not prevent declines in share prices but significantly helps to reduce the increase in market beta that is associated with this event. Nuclear energy firms domiciled in countries with a higher number of regulatory interventions that were triggered by the catastrophe have lower abnormal returns than those that are domiciled elsewhere. However, as a cross-sectional analysis reveals, a stronger commitment to nuclear power is the main driver for negative stock market returns. Furthermore, nuclear energy firms domiciled in countries with stronger regulatory shifts away from nuclear energy experience significant increases in market beta and the book-to-market equity factor loading according to the Carhart (1997) 4-factor model. We conclude that capital market participants are able to differentiate between the affectedness of firms with respect to their product portfolio. Energy firms could prevent increases in market beta due to catastrophes such as the Fukushima Daiichi accident by shifting some of their energy production from nuclear to renewable or other sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopatta, Kerstin & Kaspereit, Thomas, 2014. "The cross-section of returns, benchmark model parameters, and idiosyncratic volatility of nuclear energy firms after Fukushima Daiichi," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 125-136.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:41:y:2014:i:c:p:125-136
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2013.10.006

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    Cited by:

    1. Valizadeh, Pourya & Karali, Berna & Ferreira, Susana, 2017. "Ripple effects of the 2011 Japan earthquake on international stock markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 556-576.
    2. Grossi, Luigi & Heim, Sven & Waterson, Michael, 2014. "A vision of the European energy future? The impact of the German response to the Fukushima earthquake," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1047, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Ferguson, Andrew & Lam, Peter, 2016. "Government policy uncertainty and stock prices: The case of Australia's uranium industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 97-111.
    4. Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Aurélien Petit, 2019. "Every Little Helps? ESG News and Stock Market Reaction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 157(2), pages 543-565, June.
    5. Anastasios Evgenidis & Masashige Hamano & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2020. "Economic consequences of follow-up disasters: lessons from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake," Working Papers e152, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    6. Ben Ammar, Semir & Eling, Martin, 2015. "Common risk factors of infrastructure investments," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 257-273.
    7. Liu, Haiyan & Ferreira, Susana & Karali, Berna, 2015. "Hurricanes as News? A Comparison of the Impact of Hurricanes on Stock Returns of Energy Companies," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196845, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Law, Cherry & Cornelsen, Laura & Adams, Jean & Penney, Tarra & Rutter, Harry & White, Martin & Smith, Richard, 2020. "An analysis of the stock market reaction to the announcements of the UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    9. Ming, Zeng & Yingxin, Liu & Shaojie, Ouyang & Hui, Shi & Chunxue, Li, 2016. "Nuclear energy in the Post-Fukushima Era: Research on the developments of the Chinese and worldwide nuclear power industries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 147-156.

    More about this item


    Renewable energy; Nuclear energy; Event study; Cross-sectional analysis; Fukushima Daiichi; 4-Factor model; Idiosyncratic volatility; Model parameters;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources


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