Voluntary Pollution Reductions and the Enforcement of Environmental Law: An Empirical Study of the 33/50 Program
This paper studies determinants and effects of firms' participation in the 33/50 program, which is a voluntary pollution reduction (VPR) program initiated by government regulators. We examine a wide range of explanations for voluntary corporate environmentalism and find evidence in support of an enforcement theory that predicts that (1) VPR participation is rewarded by relaxed regulatory scrutiny, (2) the anticipation of this reward spurs firms to participate in the program, and (3) the program rewards regulators with reduced pollution. We also find that 33/50 participation was more likely for firms operating in states with larger environmentalist constituencies. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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