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Public vs. Private Eco-Labeling of Environmental Credence Goods: Maximizing the Gains from International Integration


  • Sheldon Ian M

    (Ohio State University)

  • Roe Brian E

    (Ohio State University)


Using a model of vertical product differentiation, we analyze the welfare gains from economic integration when countries harmonize their eco-labeling and certification policies for environmental credence goods. Specifically, we show that harmonized mandatory, exclusive discrete labeling will not maximize the gains from economic integration, i.e., the choice of eco-labeling regime can have a negative effect on market structure if firms choose to exit, reducing the range and quality of goods in the integrated market, and thereby reducing aggregate environmental benefits. In contrast, under a harmonized mandatory, non-exclusive discrete labeling regime, private certification increases the likelihood of maximizing the gains from international economic integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheldon Ian M & Roe Brian E, 2009. "Public vs. Private Eco-Labeling of Environmental Credence Goods: Maximizing the Gains from International Integration," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-29, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:7:y:2009:i:2:n:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Teisl, Mario F. & Roe, Brian & Hicks, Robert L., 2002. "Can Eco-Labels Tune a Market? Evidence from Dolphin-Safe Labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 339-359, May.
    2. Charles N. Noussair & Charles R. Plott & Raymond G. Riezman, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 17, pages 299-328 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
    4. Douadia Bougherara & Virginie Piguet, 2008. "Marchés avec coûts d'information sur la qualité des biens : une application aux produits écolabellisés," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(1), pages 77-96.
    5. Claudia Keser & Marc Willinger, 2000. "La théorie des contrats dans un contexte expérimental : un survol des expériences sur les relations « principal-agent »," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 237-253.
    6. Dhar, Tirtha & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2004. "Milk by Any Other Name... Consumer Benefits from Labeled Milk," Working Papers 201547, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food System Research Group.
    7. Lynch, Michael & Miller, Ross M. & Plott, Charles R. & Porter, Russell., 1984. "Product Quality, Informational Efficiency and Regulations in Experimental Markets," Working Papers 518, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    8. Bjorner, Thomas Bue & Hansen, L.G.Lars Garn & Russell, Clifford S., 2004. "Environmental labeling and consumers' choice--an empirical analysis of the effect of the Nordic Swan," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 411-434, May.
    9. Stefanie Kirchhoff, 2000. "Green Business and Blue Angels," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(4), pages 403-420, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tamini, Lota Dabio, 2012. "Optimal quality choice under uncertainty on market development," Working Papers 148589, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).

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