NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Toxic Emissions and Executive Migration

Ross Levine, Chen Lin, Zigan Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 24389
Issued in March 2018
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance, Environment and Energy Economics

We study the impact of toxic emissions on the migration of corporate executives. We link data on the opening of industrial plants emitting toxic air pollutants with information on the career paths of executives at all S&P 1500 firms over the 1996-2014 period. We find that (1) the opening of toxic emitting plants increases the rate at which executives leave geographically close firms and move to firms in less polluted areas, (2) stock returns fall when these “treated” executives announce their departures, and (3) the replacement executives have less experience than the departing executives.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24389

 
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