Article Published in Journal of Banking & Finance (Volume 98, January 2019)
We study whether and how a country’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance relates to its sovereign borrowing costs in international capital markets. We hypothesize that good ESG performance plays an economic role: It signals a country’s commitment to sustainability and long-term orientation and is a buffer against negative shocks, leading to lower sovereign bond yield spreads. Using a sample of 20 OECD countries over the period 1996–2012, we show that countries with good ESG performance are associated with lower default risk and lower sovereign bond yield spreads. Moreover, we show that the social and governance dimensions have a significant negative association with sovereign bond yield spreads, whereas the environmental dimension does not.
Understanding the mechanisms of deforestation is necessary in order to slow or arrest its progress. To accomplish this requires rigorously estimating the demand for deforestation. We contribute to this endeavor by estimating the effect of crop prices on the demand for conversion of land from forest to agriculture in the tropics during the 21st...
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