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Credence Goods, Efficient Labelling Policies, and Regulatory Enforcement

  • Soham Baksi

    ()

  • Pinaki Bose

We analyse the optimality of information revelation of hidden attributes of “credence goods” via alternative labelling procedures. When consumers are heterogeneous in their willingness to pay for the hidden attribute, producers can either self-label their products, or have them certified by a third party. The government can impose self or third party labelling requirements on either the “green” or the “brown” producers. Our benchmark model develops a condition that links the optimal imposition of third party labelling to the relative market share of each type of the good under complete information. We extend our analysis to incorporate asymmetric information and cheating by the producers. When corrupt producers can affix spurious labels, the government needs to supplement the labelling policy with costly monitoring activities. We find that mandatory self-labelling schemes generally dominate mandatory third party labelling, unless the “market share effect” greatly exceeds the “incentive-to-cheat effect”. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-006-9032-0
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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 411-430

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:2:p:411-430
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  1. 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.
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  8. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  9. Stefanie Kirchhoff, 2000. "Green Business and Blue Angels," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(4), pages 403-420, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Anthony Heyes and John Maxwell, 2003. "Private vs. Public Regulation: Political Economy of the International Environment," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 03/5, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Dec 2003.
  12. Kirchhoff, Stefanie & Zago, Angelo M., 2001. "A Simple Model Of Voluntary Vs Mandatory Labelling Of Gmos," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20540, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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