• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Article

Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2020, Volume: 13, Issue: 2, Pages: 103 – 113

Original Article

Is Deteriorating Air Quality Impacting Stock Performance in India? Air Quality Index Predicts Stock Performance

Abstract

Background/objectives: This study attempts to examine a systematic relationship between air quality index (AQI) and the performance of stock markets in India. India has ranked among the bottom five countries in environmental performance index (EPI) by World Economic Forum (WEF). Previous studies in this field conducted in other parts of the world indicate a direct relation between environmental performance and market performance; however, the case of India may prove to be different considering the Indian environmental policy, environmental accountability, population, and income and development aspects.

Methods: We have employed linear regression technique to ascertain the impact of AQI on stock returns. AQI data from 13 stations across India are the dependent variables. These dependent variables are each regressed individually for each stock market index from Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) equity index, Sensex. Therefore, there are 17 models where AQI from the chosen 13 stations has been regressed with each of the industry specific index. A descriptive analysis is also performed to know the yearly averages of the AQI across stations used in the study.

Findings: Our results confirm that there exists a negative association between AQI and stock returns for top-performing growth stocks. The results also indicate that there is a positive association between AQI and capital intensive industry stocks, while a negative association was observed in the case of labor-intensive industries. The findings indicate that AQI is a predictor for stock returns in India in the short term.

Application: Environmental influences on stock market performance are becoming more potent than ever before as the negative externalities of pollution impact the financial performance of corporations.

Keywords: Air Quality Index, Stock Performance, Environmental Policy, Indian Stock Market, Air Pollution.

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