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Essays in environmental economics: innovation and economic performance of firms, and distributional questions

Kruse, Tobias (2019) Essays in environmental economics: innovation and economic performance of firms, and distributional questions. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis consists of two parts within the field of environmental economics. The first part contributes to the literature on the relationship between firms’ environmental and economic performance. The second part investigates distributional questions within environmental economics. The first part of this thesis consists of three co-authored chapters. Chapter 1 provides a systematic and detailed literature review on the relationship between firms’ environmental and economic performance. It is an introductory and scene-setting chapter to the subsequent two chapters. Chapter 2 examines how diversifying production towards low carbon goods and services impacts the financial performance and market valuation of firms. Using new data on firms’ revenues that are generated from the production of green goods and services, we are able to measure shifts from non-green to green activities at the firm level. The paper provides novel insight into the relationship between such green revenues and a comprehensive set of accounting- and market based economic performance measures. Chapter 3 uses event study methodology to assess the impact of the Paris Agreement on stock returns. We show that green firms, have experienced significant positive abnormal returns in the week following the agreement compared to the overall market. In addition, we show that emissions-intensity appears to be a less precise determinant for firms’ stock performance. The second part consists of two single-authored chapters. Chapter 4 examines distributional preferences for international climate finance. Understanding public preferences for climate policies is crucial to ensure and increase public support for such policies. Using a choice experiment on a representative sample of the UK population this chapter elicits preferences with respect to distributional dimensions of adaptation finance. The findings provide new insights into preferred payment mechanisms and support the adoption of egalitarian policy mandates among international climate adaptation funds. Chapter 5 contributes to the literature on distributional outcomes of natural resource wealth. We use panel regression techniques as well as the quasi-experimental synthetic control method at the country- and US state-level to estimate the effect of an oil price boom on income inequality. The paper does not find strong evidence for a significant relationship. It discusses challenges in empirically identifying effects on aggregate inequality metrics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2019 Tobias Kruse
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Supervisor: Groom, Ben and Atkinson, Giles
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/4036

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