Ram Ramanan's paper with Kirk Phillipich and Bruce Bublitz, "One Conspirator or Two in the Death of the Coal-Miner's Daughter", has been accepted for publication by Oil, Gas, & Energy Quarterly.
This research attempts to address the question of who was culpable in the market decline experienced by coal companies during the 2014 through early 2016 time period. Was the coal industry being creatively destroyed as more climate-friendly substitutes (e.g. natural gas) became more viable and less expensive? Alternatively, did the role played by the regulatory process, at a minimum, contribute to the coal industry’s demise?
Certainly the regulatory process played a major role in the demise of the coal industry during this time period. For the four healthiest coal companies, a nine-day return of -9% attributable to the days surrounding three regulatory events examined. However, the finding that these same events had little impact on the three less healthy coal companies leads one to conclude that creative destruction also played a major role. It seems safe to say that the regulatory process did no favors to those firms that may have survived the effects of an industry facing its creative destruction.