THE INFLUENCE OF AUSTRALIAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AUTHORITY PROSECUTIONS ON CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL DISCLOSURES
This paper examines the environmental disclosure practices of companies that have been prosecuted by the EPA to determine whether the situation has changed since the landmark study conducted by Deegan and Rankin in 1996. The study was conducted by undertaking content analysis of a group of companies that had been prosecuted by the EPA, matched with non-prosecuted companies. Three types of environmental disclosures were considered â positive, negative, and neutral. It was found that companies increased only negative and neutral disclosures if prosecuted, and that disclosures had significantly increased since the Deegan and Rankin (1996) study, the latter finding most likely due to new legislation governing environmental disclosure. However, there was no correlation between the penalty amount and the disclosures that companies made, indicating that penalty amount does not impact on company disclosure practices.
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