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Investment in Cleaner Technology and Signaling Distortions in a Market with Green Consumers

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  • Aditi Sengupta

Abstract

I analyze the pricing and investment behavior of a firm that signals the environmental attribute of its production technology through its price to uninformed environmentally conscious consumers. I then analyze the effect of change in environmental regulation on the signaling outcome and the firm's ex ante incentive to invest in cleaner technology. When regulation is weak, a firm signals cleaner technology through higher price; in this case, the firm earns lower profit when it has cleaner technology and thus, has no incentive to invest in cleaner technology. The price charged by the clean firm declines sharply beyond a critical level of regulation. When regulation is sufficiently stringent, the firm with cleaner technology charges lower price but earns higher signaling profit, and ex ante the firm has positive incentive to invest in cleaner technology. With weak regulation, the incentive of the firm to directly disclose its environmental performance rather than signal it through price (signaling distortion of profit) is increasing in the level of regulation, but the opposite holds when regulation is sufficiently stringent.

Suggested Citation

  • Aditi Sengupta, 2011. "Investment in Cleaner Technology and Signaling Distortions in a Market with Green Consumers," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2011-10, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  • Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2011-10
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    File URL: http://cla.auburn.edu/econwp/Archives/2011/2011-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:835-:d:98832 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:envpol:v:20:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-017-0197-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gu, Wenjun & Chhajed, Dilip & Petruzzi, Nicholas C. & Yalabik, Baris, 2015. "Quality design and environmental implications of green consumerism in remanufacturing," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 55-69.
    4. Giallonardo Luisa & Mulino Marcella, 2016. "Strategic CSR, Heterogeneous Firms and Credit Constraints," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-19, October.
    5. Luca Lambertini & Giuseppe Pignataro & Alessandro Tampieri, 2014. "Green Consumers, Greenwashing and the Misperception of Environmental Quality," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-21, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    6. Li, Yuanhao & van 't Veld, Klaas, 2015. "Green, greener, greenest: Eco-label gradation and competition," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 164-176.
    7. Sladana Pavlinovic, 2013. "Signalling Green Technology Through Price And Eco-Label," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 6, pages 87-94, December.
    8. Luca Lambertini & Giuseppe Pignataro & Alessandro Tampieri, 2015. "The effect of Environmental Quality Misperception on Investments and Regulation," CREA Discussion Paper Series 15-01, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental consciousness; Environmental regulation; Incomplete information; Investment; Signaling;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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