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Voluntary Emission Reductions, Social Rewards, and Environmental Policy

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  • Michael Rauscher

Abstract

Social norms and intrinsic motivations lead to environmentally friendly behaviour even in the absence of environmental policy. This paper looks at the interactions of social norms and environmental regulation in their impact on individual behaviour. People obtain social rewards for voluntary abatement efforts. These social rewards may be crowded out by environmental regulation taking the shape of standards or taxes. Moreover, the paper shows that environmental externalities and externalities related to social norms interact and that an optimal environmental policy should consider both types of externalities. From a general welfare point of view, emission taxes are superior to emission standards, but people responsive to social rewards prefer standards.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1838.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1838

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  1. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  2. Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Working Papers in Economics 180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
  3. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
  4. Lai, Ching-Chong & Yang, Chih-Yu & Chang, Juin-Jen, 2003. "Environmental Regulations and Social Norms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 63-75, January.
  5. Frey, Bruno S, 1986. "Economists Favour the Price System--Who Else Does?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 537-63.
  6. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  7. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
  8. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  9. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
  10. Frey, Bruno S., 1993. "Motivation as a limit to pricing," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 635-664, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Lundgren, Tommy & Marklund, Per-Olov, 2012. "Environmental Performance and Profits," CERE Working Papers 2012:8, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
  2. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.
  3. Nyborg, Karine, 2011. "I don't want to hear about it: Rational ignorance among duty-oriented consumers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 263-274, August.
  4. Eyckmans, Johan & Kverndokk, Snorre, 2009. "Moral Concerns on Tradable Pollution Permits in International Environmental Agreements," Memorandum 13/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Nyborg, Karine & Brekke, Kjell Arne, 2009. "Selfish Bakers, Caring Nurses? A Model of Work Motivation," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2008:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
  6. Erik Gawel, 2001. "Intrinsische Motivation und umweltpolitische Instrumente," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(2), pages 145-165, 05.
  7. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell & Guiseppe Munda, 1998. "Models of Individual Behavior and Implications for Environmental Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-121/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Lundgren, Tommy & Olsson, Rickard, 2008. "How Bad is Bad News? Assessing the Effects of Environmental Incidents on Firm Value," Sustainable Investment and Corporate Governance Working Papers 2008/1, Sustainable Investment Research Platform.

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