Environmental Disclosure Quality in Large German Companies: Economic Incentives, Public Pressures or Institutional Conditions?
Posted: 8 Mar 2005
Investors and stakeholders in continental Europe are becoming increasingly concerned about corporate environmental policies. As a result, many firms are voluntarily increasing the extent of their environmental disclosure in their annual report. While mostly unregulated, corporate environmental disclosure does have potential economic significance considering the scarcity of alternative information sources. The purpose of this study is to identify determinants of corporate environmental disclosure using multi-theoretical lens that rely on economic incentives, public pressures and institutional theory. The study focuses on large firms from a continental Europe country, Germany, with a distinct legal and regulatory context and where environmental concerns are especially acute. Results show that Risk, Ownership, Fixed Assets Age, Firm Size as well as routine determine the level of environmental disclosure by German firms in a given year. Moreover, consistent with Institutional theory, results suggest that German firms' disclosure is converging over time. Overall, results strongly suggest that environmental disclosure is multi-dimensional and is driven by complementary forces.
Keywords: Environmental disclosure, disclosure quality, information costs, routine, public pressures
JEL Classification: M41, M45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation