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Information Disclosure as Environmental Regulation: A Theoretical Analysis

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  • Mark Cohen

    ()

  • V. Santhakumar

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Cohen & V. Santhakumar, 2007. "Information Disclosure as Environmental Regulation: A Theoretical Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 599-620, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:3:p:599-620
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-006-9052-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Huber, Claus & Wirl, Franz, 1998. "The Polluter Pays versus the Pollutee Pays Principle under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 69-87, January.
    2. Khanna, Madhu & Quimio, Wilma Rose H. & Bojilova, Dora, 1998. "Toxics Release Information: A Policy Tool for Environmental Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 243-266, November.
    3. Kennedy Peter W. & Laplante Benoit & Maxwell John, 1994. "Pollution Policy: the Role for Publicly Provided Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 31-43, January.
    4. Hamilton James T., 1995. "Pollution as News: Media and Stock Market Reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 98-113, January.
    5. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
    6. Kennedy, P. & Laplante, B. & Maxwell, J., 1990. "Pollution Policy: The Role of Publicly Provided Information," Papers 9021, Laval - Recherche en Energie.
    7. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:resene:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:83-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. André, Francisco J. & Sokri, Abderrahmane & Zaccour, Georges, 2011. "Public Disclosure Programs vs. traditional approaches for environmental regulation: Green goodwill and the policies of the firm," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 212(1), pages 199-212, July.
    3. Capelle-Blancard, Gunther & Laguna, Marie-Aude, 2010. "How does the stock market respond to chemical disasters?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 192-205, March.
    4. Iwata, Hiroki, 2014. "Disclosure of environmental information and investments of firms," MPRA Paper 54784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Yalcintas, Altug, 2010. "The ‘Coase Theorem’ vs. Coase theorem proper: How an error emerged and why it remained uncorrected so long," MPRA Paper 37936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Hyunhoe Bae, 2012. "Reducing Environmental Risks by Information Disclosure: Evidence in Residential Lead Paint Disclosure Rule," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 404-431, March.
    7. Hyunhoe Bae & Peter Wilcoxen & David Popp, 2010. "Information disclosure policy: Do state data processing efforts help more than the information disclosure itself?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 163-182.
    8. Bennear, Lori S. & Olmstead, Sheila M., 2008. "The impacts of the "right to know": Information disclosure and the violation of drinking water standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 117-130, September.
    9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00637961 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Daniel Matisoff, 2015. "Sources of specification errors in the assessment of voluntary environmental programs: understanding program impacts," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(1), pages 109-126, March.
    11. Mitchell, Ronald B., 2011. "Transparency for governance: The mechanisms and effectiveness of disclosure-based and education-based transparency policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1882-1890, September.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3187 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:resene:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:113-131 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    information disclosure; environmental regulation; Coase theorem; asymmetric information; D62; H41; Q58;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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