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Do Environmental and Economic Performance Go Together? A Review of Micro-level Empirical Evidence from the Past Decade or So

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  • Dechezleprêtre, Antoine
  • Kozluk, Tomasz
  • Kruse, Tobias
  • Nachtigall, Daniel
  • de Serres, Alain

Abstract

This article reviews the empirical literature combining economic and environmental performance data at the micro-level, i.e. firm or facility level. The literature has generally found a positive and statistically significant correlation between economic performance, as measured by profitability indicators or stock market returns, and environmental performance, as measured by emissions of pollutants or adoption of international environmental standards. The main reason for this finding seems to be that firms that reduce their material and energy costs experience both better economic performance and lower emissions. Only a small and recent literature analyses the joint causal impact of environmental regulations on environmental and economic performance. Interestingly, this literature shows that environmental regulations tend to improve environmental performance while not weakening economic performance. However, the evidence so far is limited to a handful of environmental regulations that are not extremely stringent, so the result cannot be easily generalized. More research is needed to assess the joint effects of environmental regulations on environmental and economic performance, to explore the heterogeneity of these effects across sectors, countries and types of policies, and to understand which policy designs allow improving environmental quality while not coming at a cost in terms of economic performance of regulated businesses.

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  • Dechezleprêtre, Antoine & Kozluk, Tomasz & Kruse, Tobias & Nachtigall, Daniel & de Serres, Alain, 2019. "Do Environmental and Economic Performance Go Together? A Review of Micro-level Empirical Evidence from the Past Decade or So," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 13(1-2), pages 1-118, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jirere:101.00000106
    DOI: 10.1561/101.00000106
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    18. Paul Lanoie & Jérémy Laurent‐Lucchetti & Nick Johnstone & Stefan Ambec, 2011. "Environmental Policy, Innovation and Performance: New Insights on the Porter Hypothesis," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 803-842, September.
    19. Dietrich Earnhart & Dylan G. Rassier, 2016. "“Effective regulatory stringency” and firms’ profitability: the effects of effluent limits and government monitoring," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 111-145, October.
    20. Jean Pierre Huiban & Camilla Mastromarco & Antonio Musolesi & Michel Simioni, 2018. "The impact of pollution abatement investments on production technology: a nonparametric approach," SEEDS Working Papers 0918, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Sep 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental performance; financial performance; Porter Hypothesis; environmental regulation; research synthesis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

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