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Eco-labelling and the Trade-Environment Debate

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  • Daniel Melser
  • Peter E. Robertson

Abstract

In this paper we consider the effectiveness of eco-labels as a substitute for alternative, but trade-restrictive, environmental policies. Specifically, while there are concerns that eco-labelling requirements increase the cost of international trade, due to their potential for misuse as technical trade barriers, little attention has been given to the environmental benefits of eco-labelling. We show that incentive problems inherent in eco-labelling policies make it a very weak tool of environmental policy. Despite this, we argue that eco-labelling schemes may remain popular, owing to the lack of alternative WTO compliant environmental policies. We also use this framework to consider the economic and political conflicts facing the EU with regard to its policies on genetically modified organisms. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 28 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 49-62

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:1:p:49-62

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0378-5920

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Cited by:
  1. Peter E. Robertson, 2007. "Global Resources and Eco-labels: a Neutrality Result," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 735-743, 09.
  2. Monteiro, Jose-Antonio, 2010. "Eco-label Adoption in an Interdependent World," MPRA Paper 20268, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Prosperi, Maurizio & Viscecchia, Rosaria, 2007. "Indirect Effects of Eco-labelling of agricultural products on Natural Resources," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7868, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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