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Eco-labels, Trade and Protectionism

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  • Mads Greaker

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Abstract

Eco-labels are suspected to serve protectionist purposes. We analyze the choice between an environmental standard and a voluntary eco-label scheme in a partial trade model with one domestic firm and one foreign firm. The environmental standard will only apply to the domestic firm, while both firms can adopt the eco-label. Pollution is production related, and domestic consumers demand products that are produced in an “environmentally friendly” way. Our results show that it may be optimal for the domestic government to introduce an eco-label and get both firms to adopt the label, instead of setting an environmental standard. However, to what extent this policy serves protectionist purposes is ambiguous. In particular, if the willingness to pay for green products is sufficient to cover the pollution abatement costs of the foreign firm, foreign firm profit will increase while domestic firm profit will decrease compared to the outcome with a domestic environmental standard. On the other hand, if the willingness to pay for green products is insufficient, the foreign firm would be better off with a domestic environmental standard. Copyright Springer 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Mads Greaker, 2006. "Eco-labels, Trade and Protectionism," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(1), pages 1-37, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:33:y:2006:i:1:p:1-37
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-005-0070-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. José Moraga-González & Noemi Padrón-Fumero, 2002. "Environmental Policy in a Green Market," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(3), pages 419-447, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    4. Mari Rege, 2000. "Strategic Policy and Environmental Quality: Helping the Domestic Industry to Provide Credible Information," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(3), pages 279-296, March.
    5. Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000. "Standards and protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
    6. Reitzes, James D, 1992. "Quality Choice, Trade Policy, and Firm Incentives," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 817-835, November.
    7. B. Howarth, Richard & Haddad, Brent M. & Paton, Bruce, 2000. "The economics of energy efficiency: insights from voluntary participation programs," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 477-486, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Neven, D. & Thisse, J-F., 1989. "On Quality And Variety Competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1989020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    11. Bansal, Sangeeta & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 2003. "Tax/subsidy policies in the presence of environmentally aware consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 333-355, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. H. Eggert & M. Greaker, 2011. "Trade, GMOs and Environmental Risk: Are Current Policies Likely to Improve Welfare?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(4), pages 587-608, April.
    2. Ana Espínola-Arredondo & Félix Muñoz-García, 2016. "An excessive development of green products?," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 101-129, May.
    3. Monteiro, Jose-Antonio, 2010. "Eco-label Adoption in an Interdependent World," MPRA Paper 20268, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Soham Baksi & Pinaki Bose, 2007. "Credence Goods, Efficient Labelling Policies, and Regulatory Enforcement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(2), pages 411-430, June.
    5. Mads Greaker & Yuyu Chen, 2006. "Can voluntary product-labeling replace trade bans in the case of GMOs?," Discussion Papers 485, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    6. Gerhard Clemenz, 2010. "Eco-Labeling and Horizontal Product Differentiation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 481-497, April.
    7. Conrad Klaus, 2009. "Engines Powered by Renewable Energy, the Network of Filling Stations and Compatibility Decisions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(4), pages 362-381, August.
    8. repec:eee:forpol:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:167-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Klaus CONRAD, 2005. "Price Competition and Product Differentiation when Goods have Network Effects," Industrial Organization 0502002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Gilles Grolleau & Lisette Ibanez & Naoufel Mzoughi, 2007. "Industrialists hand in hand with environmentalists: how eco-labeling schemes can help firms to raise rivals’ costs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 215-236, December.
    11. Prosperi, Maurizio & Viscecchia, Rosaria, 2007. "Indirect Effects of Eco-labelling of agricultural products on Natural Resources," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7868, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    eco-labels; product differentiation; trade policy; H2; H7; Q2; Q28;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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