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Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

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Listed:
  • Blackman, Allen
  • Naranjo, María Angélica
  • Robalino, Juan
  • Alpízar, Francisco
  • Rivera, Jorge

Abstract

According to advocates, eco-certification can stem environmental damages from tourism in developing countries. Yet we know little about tourism operators’ economic incentives to get certified. To help fill that gap, we use detailed panel data to analyze the Blue Flag beach certification program in Costa Rica where nature-based tourism has caused significant environmental damage. We use new hotel investment to proxy for private benefits, and fixed effects and propensity score matching to control for self-selection bias. We find that Blue Flag certification spurs significant new hotel investment, particularly in luxury hotels and in economically advantaged communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackman, Allen & Naranjo, María Angélica & Robalino, Juan & Alpízar, Francisco & Rivera, Jorge, 2014. "Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 41-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:58:y:2014:i:c:p:41-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.12.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. S. Capacci & A. E. Scorcu & L. Vici, 2014. "Eco labels and tourism flows: How much is a Blue Flag worth?," Working Papers wp917, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. repec:aio:manmar:v:xv:y:2017:i:1:p:61-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Guillaume Gruère, 2015. "An Analysis of the Growth in Environmental Labelling and Information Schemes," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Broad, Robin & Cavanagh, John, 2015. "Poorer Countries and the Environment: Friends or Foes?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 419-431.
    5. Hampton, Mark P. & Jeyacheya, Julia, 2015. "Power, Ownership and Tourism in Small Islands: Evidence from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 481-495.
    6. Bernini, Cristina & Cerqua, Augusto, 2019. "Do sustainability policies finance local economies?," MPRA Paper 91882, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:48:y:2015:i:c:p:211-230 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Costa Rica; eco-certification; propensity score matching; tourism;

    JEL classification:

    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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