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Green Leader or Green Liar ? Differentiation and the role of NGOs

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This paper addresses how corporate environmentalism can be a means of differentiation and of green-washing. Since consumers can seldom directly observe a firm's environmental quality (a problem not easily solved through eco-labeling), published environmental reports and advertising can mislead them. As a result, the role of the NGO becomes both crucial and ambiguous. On the one hand, by helping to increase consumer awareness, NGOs enlarge the market share of green differentiated firms. On the other hand, the risk that consumers will punish a firm perceived to be supplying inaccurate environmental information may bring about the paradoxical result of discouraging differentiation efforts.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2010/10097.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 10097.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10097

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Keywords: Differentiation; environmental concern; imperfect competition; quality; advertising; NGO.;

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  1. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP -385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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