Clarkson, Li, Richardson, and Vasvari (2010)

Clarkson, Peter, Yue Li, Gordon D. Richardson, and Florin P. Vasvari.  “Does it Really Pay to be Green? Determinants and Consequences of Proactive Environmental Strategies.”  Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, forthcoming (dated August 9, 2010).

From the authors' abstract:  "Using longitudinal data from 1990-2003 for the four most polluting industries in the U.S. (Pulp & Paper, Chemical, Oil & Gas, and Metals & Mining), this research empirically models the causal relations between firms’ environmental performance and their financial resources and management capability. Our results show that positive (negative) changes in firms’ financial resources in the prior periods are followed by significant improvements (declines) in firm’s relative environmental performance in the subsequent periods. In addition, we also find that significant improvements (declines) in environmental performance in the prior periods can lead to improvements (declines) in financial performance in the subsequent periods... Overall, our results are consistent with predictions of the resource based view of the firm and indicate that although becoming 'green' is associated with improvement in firm performance, such a strategy cannot be easily mimicked by all firms."