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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective

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  • Thomas P. Lyon
  • John W. Maxwell

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 240-260, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:2:y:2008:i:2:p:240-260
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies

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