The carbon dioxide emissions of firms: a spatial analysis

Matthew A. Cole*, Robert J.R. Elliott, Toshihiro Okubo, Ying Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to gain a greater understanding of firms' 'environmental behaviour' this paper explores the factors that influence firms' emissions intensities and provides the first analysis of the determinants of firm level carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Focussing on Japan, the paper also examines whether firms' CO2 emissions are influenced by the emissions of neighbouring firms and other possible sources of spatial correlation. Results suggest that size, the capital-labour ratio, R&D expenditure, the extent of exports and concern for public profile are the key determinants of CO2 emissions. Local lobbying pressure, as captured by regional community characteristics, does not appear to play a role, however emissions are found to be spatially correlated. This raises implications for the manner in which the environmental performance of firms is modelled in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290–309
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of environmental economics and management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published Cole, MA, Elliott, RJR, Okubo, T & Zhou, Y, 'The carbon dioxide emissions of firms: A spatial analysis' Journal of environmental economics and management, vol In Press, Corrected Proof (2013) DOI


  • carbon dioxide
  • firms
  • formal and informal regulations
  • Japan
  • spatial


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