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Green Premium, Ecolabel, and Environmental Damage

Listed author(s):
  • Aditi Sengupta

In markets where differences in environmental performance of competing firms arise due to differences in technology and other attributes that cannot be altered in the short run and firms have private information about these attributes, an ecolabel may allow firms to credibly communicate their private information to environmentally conscious uninformed consumers. This may ameliorate the distortion in pricing and consumption patterns in the market outcomes, when there is no credible direct disclosure mechanism and pricing is the only channel of signaling private information. In an incomplete information duopoly market with price competition, I show that even if a credible ecolabel is available freely, clean firms may not always find it individually advantageous to adopt the ecolabel. The adoption of the ecolabel by the clean firms removes price and welfare distortions (caused by price signaling); in this case, the availability of the ecolabel makes competition more intense, reduces market power, increases market shares of the clean firms, and lowers the expected environmental damage. The effect of the ecolabel on the incentives to invest in the development of a clean technology is more complex; the presence of an ecolabel may reduce the level of aggregate investment.

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File URL: http://cla.auburn.edu/econwp/Archives/2016/2016-16.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Auburn University in its series Auburn Economics Working Paper Series with number auwp2016-16.

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Date of creation: Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2016-16
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  1. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
  2. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2001. "Is Ecolabelling a Reliable Environmental Policy Measure?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 113-127, January.
  3. Teisl, Mario F. & Roe, Brian & Hicks, Robert L., 2002. "Can Eco-Labels Tune a Market? Evidence from Dolphin-Safe Labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 339-359, May.
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  6. Kuhn, Michael, 1999. "Green Lemons - Environmental Labels and Entry into an Environmentally Differentiated Market under Asymmetric Information," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 20, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  7. Bansal, Sangeeta & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 2003. "Tax/subsidy policies in the presence of environmentally aware consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 333-355, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
  10. Lisette Ibanez & Gilles Grolleau, 2008. "Can Ecolabeling Schemes Preserve the Environment?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 233-249, June.
  11. Amacher, Gregory S. & Koskela, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2004. "Environmental quality competition and eco-labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 284-306, March.
  12. Mattoo, Aaditya & Singh, Harsha V, 1994. "Eco-labelling: Policy Considerations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 53-65.
  13. Galarraga, Ibon & Markandya, Anil, 2004. "Economic techniques to estimate the demand for sustainable products: a case study for fair trade and organic coffee in the United Kingdom," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(07).
  14. Sengupta, Aditi, 2015. "Competitive investment in clean technology and uninformed green consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 125-141.
  15. Carolyn Fischer & Thomas P. Lyon, 2014. "Competing Environmental Labels," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 692-716, 09.
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