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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective

  • Thomas P. Lyon
  • John W. Maxwell

We survey the growing theoretical literature on the motives for and welfare effects of corporate greening. We show how both market and political forces are making environmental CSR profitable, and we also discuss morally-motivated or altruistic CSR. Welfare effects of CSR are subtle and situation-contingent, and there is no guarantee that CSR enhances social welfare. We identify numerous areas in which additional theoretical work is needed.

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Article provided by Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Review of Environmental Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Pages: 240-260

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Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:2:y:2008:i:2:p:240-260
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  1. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
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  4. Glachant, Matthieu, 2007. "Non-binding voluntary agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 32-48, July.
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  29. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
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