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The Voluntary Environmentalists


  • Prakash,Aseem
  • Potoski,Matthew


Can businesses voluntarily adopt progressive environmental policies? Most environmental regulations are based on the assumption that the pursuit of profit leads firms to pollute the environment, and therefore governments must impose mandatory regulations. However, new instruments such as voluntary programs are increasingly important. Drawing on the economic theory of club goods, this book offers a theoretical account of voluntary environmental programs by identifying the institutional features that influence conditions under which programs can be effective. By linking program efficacy to club design, it focuses attention on collective action challenges faced by green clubs. Several analytic techniques are used to investigate the adoption and efficacy of ISO 14001, the most widely recognized voluntary environmental program in the world. These analyses show that, while the value of ISO 14001's brand reputation varies across policy and economic contexts, on average ISO 14001 members pollute less and comply better with governmental regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Prakash,Aseem & Potoski,Matthew, 2006. "The Voluntary Environmentalists," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521860413, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521860413

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Seong‐gin Moon, 2008. "Corporate Environmental Behaviors in Voluntary Programs: Does Timing Matter?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1102-1120, December.
    2. Hoang, Phi Cong & McGuire, William & Prakash, Aseem, 2018. "Reducing Toxic Chemical Pollution in Response to Multiple Information Signals: The 33/50 Voluntary Program and Toxicity Disclosures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 193-202.
    3. Erica Johnson & Aseem Prakash, 2007. "NGO research program: a collective action perspective," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(3), pages 221-240, September.
    4. Mary Gugerty, 2009. "Signaling virtue: voluntary accountability programs among nonprofit organizations," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 42(3), pages 243-273, August.
    5. Kenneth Abbott & Duncan Snidal, 2010. "International regulation without international government: Improving IO performance through orchestration," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 315-344, September.
    6. Leonard, J. Mark & Decker, Christopher S., 2012. "Determinants of voluntary electricity demand management program participation," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 17-21.
    7. Baron, David P., 2008. "Managerial contracting and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 268-288, February.
    8. Daniel Berliner & Aseem Prakash, 2014. "The United Nations Global Compact: An Institutionalist Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 122(2), pages 217-223, June.
    9. Nives Dolšak & Aseem Prakash, 2017. "Join the Club: How the Domestic NGO Sector Induces Participation in the Covenant of Mayors Program," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 26-47, January.
    10. Baron, David P., 2011. "Credence attributes, voluntary organizations, and social pressure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1331-1338.
    11. Holtmaat, Ellen Alexandra & Adolph, Christopher & Prakash, Aseem, 2020. "The global diffusion of environmental clubs: how pressure from importing countries supports the chemical industry’s Responsible Care® program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    12. Brendan Guy, 2014. "Re-conceptualising Commitments to Sustainable Development in the 21st Century – Nurturing Action and Accountability in the Networked World," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(2), pages 223-244.
    13. Matthew Potoski & Aseem Prakash, 2009. "Information asymmetries as trade barriers: ISO 9000 increases international commerce," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 221-238.
    14. Nives Dolšak, 2009. "Climate Change Policy Implementation: A Cross‐Sectional Analysis," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 26(5), pages 551-570, September.
    15. Virginia Haufler, 2009. "The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme: An Innovation in Global Governance and Conflict Prevention," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(4), pages 403-416, March.
    16. Hoang, Phi & McGuire, William & Prakash, Aseem, 2016. "Is there Life after Death?: The Enduring Effects of the 33/50 Program on Emission Reductions," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235556, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    17. Fuchs Doris & Kalfagianni Agni, 2010. "The Causes and Consequences of Private Food Governance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-36, October.

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