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Certification of corporate social responsibility activities in oligopolistic markets

  • Constantine Manasakis
  • Evangelos Mitrokostas
  • Emmanuel Petrakis

We investigate the impact of alternative certifying institutions on firms' incentives to engage in costly Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities as well as their relative market and societal implications. We find that the CSR certification standard is the lowest under for-profit private certifiers and the highest under a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), with the standard of a welfare-maximizing public certifier lying in between. Yet, regarding industry output, this ranking is reversed. Certification of CSR activities is welfare enhancing for consumers and firms and should be encouraged. Finally, the market and societal outcomes of CSR certification depend crucially on whether certification takes place before or after firms' CSR activities.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 282-309

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:46:y:2013:i:1:p:282-309
Contact details of provider: Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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  1. Soham Baksi & Pinaki Bose, 2007. "Credence Goods, Efficient Labelling Policies, and Regulatory Enforcement," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(2), pages 411-430, June.
  2. Constantine Manasakis & Evangelos Mitrokostas & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2011. "Certification of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities in Oligopolistic Markets," Working Papers 1103, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  3. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2010. "Individual and Corporate Social Responsibility," Working Papers 2010.23, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Amacher, Gregory S. & Koskela, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2004. "Environmental quality competition and eco-labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 284-306, March.
  5. Paolo Garella & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2008. "Minimum quality standards and consumers’ information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, August.
  6. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2003. "Location decisions of a polluting firm and the time consistency of environmental policy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, May.
  7. Thomas Bue Bjorner & Lars Garn Hansen & Clifford S. Russell, 2002. "Environmental Labelling and Consumer's Choice - An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of the Nordic Swan," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0203, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Laura T. Raynolds & Douglas Murray & Peter Leigh Taylor, 2004. "Fair trade coffee: building producer capacity via global networks," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 1109-1121.
  9. Olivier Bonroy & Christos Constantatos, 2008. "On the use of labels in credence goods markets," Working Papers 20521, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  10. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
  11. Bottega Lucie & Delacote Philippe & Ibanez Lisette, 2009. "Labeling Policies and Market Behavior: Quality Standard and Voluntary Label Adoption," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-18, December.
  12. Jonathan P. Doh & Terrence R. Guay, 2006. "Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Policy, and NGO Activism in Europe and the United States: An Institutional-Stakeholder Perspective," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 47-73, 01.
  13. Brisley, Neil & Bris, Arturo & Cabolis, Christos, 2011. "A theory of optimal expropriation, mergers and industry competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 955-965, April.
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