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Green Clubs

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  • Klaas van 't Veld
  • Matthew J. Kotchen

Abstract

This paper treats programs in which firms voluntarily agree to meet environmental standards as “green clubs”: clubs, because they provide non-rival but excludable reputation benefits to participating firms; green, because they also generate environmental public goods. The model illuminates a central tension between the congestion externality familiar from conventional club theory and the free-riding externality familiar from the theory on private provision of public goods. We compare three common program sponsors—governments, industry, and environmental groups. We find that if monitoring of the club standard is perfect, a government constrained from regulating club size may prefer to leave sponsorship to industry if public-good benefits are sufficiently low, or to environmentalists if public-good benefits are sufficiently high. If monitoring is imperfect, an important question is whether consumers can infer that a club is too large for its standard to be credible. If they can, then the government may deliberately choose an imperfect monitoring mechanism as a way of regulating club size indirectly. If they cannot, then this reinforces the government’s preference for delegating sponsorship.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16627.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as van ‘ t Veld, K. and M. Kotchen, “Green Clubs,” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management , 62 (2011) 309 - 322.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16627

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  1. Roberto Rodríguez-Ibeas, 2007. "Environmental Product Differentiation and Environmental Awareness," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 237-254, February.
  2. Graff Zivin Joshua & Small Arthur, 2005. "A Modigliani-Miller Theory of Altruistic Corporate Social Responsibility," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-21, May.
  3. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís, 2009. "Market Effects of Changes in Consumers' Social Responsibility," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 235-262, 03.
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Cited by:
  1. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Valeria Costantini & Susanna Mancinelli & Massimilano Corradini, 2011. "Environmental and Innovation Performance in a Dynamic Impure Public Good Framework," Working Papers 201117, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.

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