Public Voluntary Programs Reconsidered
Abstract“Public voluntary programs” (PVPs) involve government offers of positive publicity and technical assistance to firms that reach certain environmental goals. A growing body of empirical evidence suggests these programs often have little impact on the behavior of their participants. A natural policy conclusion would be to eliminate these programs, but this paper offers several reasons not to jump to such a conclusion. We first present a political-economic framework in which PVPs are viewed as modest subsidies used when political opposition makes stronger environmental regulation infeasible. We then explore the design of PVPs in detail, showing how PVPs can potentially enhance the diffusion of cost-effective techniques for pollution abatement, so long as the information involved is not competitively sensitive. Identifying the effects of PVPs econometrically is difficult because information is likely to diffuse to non-participants. Thus, after the early phases of even a successful PVP, it may well be impossible to detect a difference in performance between participants and non-participants.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2007-07.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1309 East Tenth Street, Room 451, Bloomington, IN 47405-1701
Web page: http://www.bus.indiana.edu/bepp/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2007-03-10 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2007-03-10 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PPM-2007-03-10 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
- Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000.
"Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
- John W. Maxwell & Thomas P Lyon & Steven C.. Hackett, 1995. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 122, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- John Maxwell & Christopher Decker, 2006. "Voluntary Environmental Investment and Responsive Regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(4), pages 425-439, 04.
- Lyon,Thomas P. & Maxwell,John W., 2004.
"Corporate Environmentalism and Public Policy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521603768, December.
- Khanna, Madhu & Damon, Lisa A., 1999. "EPA's Voluntary 33/50 Program: Impact on Toxic Releases and Economic Performance of Firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha, 2007. "Can voluntary pollution prevention programs fulfill their promises? Further evidence from the EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 180-195, March.
- DeCanio, Stephen J, 1998. "The efficiency paradox: bureaucratic and organizational barriers to profitable energy-saving investments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 441-454, April.
- Eric W. Welch & Allan Mazur & Stuart Bretschneider, 2000. "Voluntary behavior by electric utilities: Levels of adoption and contribution of the climate challenge program to the reduction of carbon dioxide," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 407-425.
- Ian Lange, 2008. "Evaluating Voluntary Programs with Spillovers: The Case of Coal Combustion Products Partnership," NCEE Working Paper Series 200812, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Dec 2008.
- Färe, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2010. "Toxic releases: An environmental performance index for coal-fired power plants," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 158-165, January.
- Rosetta Lombardo, 2009. "Beyond Compliance: Firms’ Environmental Behaviour. A Survey," Working Papers 200918, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
- R. Brau & C. Carraro, 2009.
"The Design of Voluntary Agreements in Oligopolistic Markets,"
Working Paper CRENoS
200907, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
- Rinaldo Brau & Carlo Carraro, 2011. "The design of voluntary agreements in oligopolistic markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 111-142, April.
- Ferrara, Andreas & Lange, Ian, 2011. "Voluntary Programs to Encourage Diffusion: The Case of the Combined Heat-and-Power Partnership," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-16, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rick Harbaugh).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.