Firm-Level Financial Resources and Environmental Spills
Using novel US environmental spill data, we document a robust negative relationship between the number of spills a firm experiences in a given year and its contemporaneous and lagged (but not future) cash flow. In addition, studying two natural experiments, we find an increase (decrease) in spills following negative (positive) shocks to a firm's financial resources, both in absolute terms and relative to control firms. Overall, our results suggest that firms' financial resources play an important role in their ability to mitigate environmental risk.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24516