Essays in environmental regulation and firm dynamics

Dardati, Evangelina Alejandra
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In this dissertation, I study the effect of environmental regulation on firm behavior. In the first chapter, I use a dynamic model to quantify the effects on exit, entry, investment and welfare of different allocation schemes of a cap-and-trade program. I focus on allocation rules regarding closing plants and new entrants. I calibrate the model with data from the US power plants and perform two policy experiments: first I quantify the effects of the introduction of a cap-and-trade program; second, I do a counterfactual where I switch the allocation rule and study the effect on the new equilibrium and welfare. In the second chapter of this dissertation, I ask whether multinational firms are harmful for a host country environment. I use plant-level data from Chile and find empirical evidence that multinational are cleaner than domestic plants. Based on the trade literature, I build a model where I add environmental regulation and a technology choice. The model proposes a new explanation of why multinationals firms might be cleaner than their domestic peers. I get policy implications from the model and test them with the data. In the third chapter, I study the relation between free permit allocation in a cap-and-trade program and financial constraints. I use the change in the permit prices and the heterogeneity in permit allocation to identify financial constraints for the investor-owned utilities in the electricity sector.