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HomePaperDo ESG investors care about carbon emissions? Evidence from securitized auto loans

Do ESG investors care about carbon emissions? Evidence from securitized auto loans

20 November 2023
Authors: Christian Kontz (Stanford GSB)
Presenter: Christian Kontz (Stanford GSB)
Abstract:

Securitized auto loans present a clean empirical setting to study the effects of ESG investing on equilibrium asset prices and quantities. I find that the convenience yield of ESG investments increased almost threefold from 0.14% in 2017 to 0.39% p.a. in 2022. The pass-through of this convenience yield to consumer interest rates can be substantial for captive lenders, with implied changes in consumer loan demand ranging from 1.05% to 4.77%. However, I document that the market’s focus on firm-level ESG scores, rather than the collateral’s CO2 emissions, lowers the cost of capital for high-emission auto ABS by 6 basis points; due to a positive correlation between ESG scores and CO2 emissions. ESG mutual funds allocate more capital to auto ABS from issuers with higher ESG scores, even if those securities finance higher-emission vehicles. These findings highlight that while green premia can have a meaningful impact, they do not necessarily increase the cost of emitting CO2.

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