Environmental Disclosure and the Cost of Capital: Evidence from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
European Accounting Review (forthcoming)
77 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2014 Last revised: 13 Apr 2023
Date Written: November 1, 2015
We examine the relation between environmental disclosure and the cost of capital by exploiting the Fukushima nuclear disaster as a source of variation in the relevance of environmental information for investors. Using a large hand-collected sample of Japanese firms, we find that firms disclosing carbon emissions experience a lower increase in the cost of capital than non-disclosing firms. Cross-sectional analyses suggest that the association between disclosure and the cost of capital is driven by the increase in investor uncertainty about the energy supply shortage that followed the disaster rather than future regulatory costs. Moreover, we find that after the disaster, non-disclosing firms in the pre-disaster period increase their environmental disclosures to a greater extent relative to disclosing firms. Taken together, our results provide insight into the link between non-financial, unregulated disclosures and the cost of capital.
Keywords: Environmental disclosure; Cost of capital; Disclosure reaction; Carbon emissions.
JEL Classification: G01, G12, G14, G30, M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation