Information Disclosure as Environmental Regulation: A Theoretical Analysis
Governments around the world are beginning to embrace a new form of environmental regulation – mandatory disclosure of information. While information disclosure programs appear to have an impact on subsequent firm behavior – often resulting in lower levels of pollution – little is known about the costs and benefits of these programs and whether or not they enhance social welfare. This paper presents a simple bargaining model where mandatory information disclosure is used to overcome a lack of information on the part of the public. We characterize the conditions under which information disclosure will lead to a reduction in emissions, and ultimately, the conditions under which it will enhance social welfare. Several extensions of the model are briefly explored, including the effect of two sources of pollution – only one of which is subject to information disclosure. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007
Volume (Year): 37 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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