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.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24516