Which Type of Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant? The Effectiveness of Information Disclosure Programs
This study assesses the effectiveness of two information disclosure programs – the success of state-based mandatory carbon reporting programs and the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project, which uses investor pressure to push firms to disclose carbon emissions and carbon management strategies. I match firms in each program to control groups of firms that have not participated in each program. Using panel data methods including a difference in differences model and fixed effects model, I measure the impact of each program on plant-level carbon emissions and plant-level carbon intensity. I find that the Carbon Disclosure Project is associated with reductions in plant level carbon intensity. State reporting programs do not have an impact on carbon intensity. Neither program impacted total carbon emissions. I conclude that participation in the CDP reflects changes made by firm managers that lead to improved carbon management.