Climate Change and Asset Prices: Are Corporate Carbon Disclosure and Performance Priced Appropriately?
Forthcoming, Journal of Business Finance & Accounting
Posted: 28 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 28, 2014
This paper empirically assesses the value relevance of information on corporate climate change disclosure and performance to asset prices, and discusses whether this information is priced appropriately. Findings indicate that corporate disclosures of quantitative GHG emissions and, to a lesser extent, carbon performance are value relevant. We use hand-collected information on quantitative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 433 European companies and build portfolios based on GHG disclosure and performance. We regress portfolios on Carhart (1997) four factor models extended for industry effects over the years 2005 to 2009. Results show that investors achieved abnormal risk-adjusted returns of up to 13.05% annually by exploiting inefficiently priced positive effects of (complete) GHG emissions disclosure and good corporate climate change performance in terms of GHG efficiency. Results imply that, firstly, information costs involved in carbon disclosure and management do not present a burden on corporate financial resources. Secondly, investors should not neglect carbon disclosure and performance when making investment decisions. Thirdly, during the period analysed financial markets were inefficient in pricing publicly available information on carbon disclosure and performance. Mandatory and standardised information on carbon performance would consequently not only increase market efficiency but result in better allocation of capital within the real economy.
Keywords: carbon disclosure, climate change, value relevance, disclosure quality, GHG emissions, market efficiency, stock performance
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