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Voluntary Emission Reductions, Social Rewards, and Environmental Policy

  • Michael Rauscher

Social norms and intrinsic motivations lead to environmentally friendly behaviour even in the absence of environmental policy. This paper looks at the interactions of social norms and environmental regulation in their impact on individual behaviour. People obtain social rewards for voluntary abatement efforts. These social rewards may be crowded out by environmental regulation taking the shape of standards or taxes. Moreover, the paper shows that environmental externalities and externalities related to social norms interact and that an optimal environmental policy should consider both types of externalities. From a general welfare point of view, emission taxes are superior to emission standards, but people responsive to social rewards prefer standards.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2006/wp-cesifo-2006-11/cesifo1_wp1838.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1838.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1838
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  1. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  2. Frey, Bruno S, 1986. "Economists Favour the Price System--Who Else Does?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 537-63.
  3. Lai, Ching-Chong & Yang, Chih-Yu & Chang, Juin-Jen, 2003. "Environmental Regulations and Social Norms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 63-75, January.
  4. Mellström, Carl & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Crowding Out in Blood Donation: Was Titmuss Right?," Working Papers in Economics 180, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Feb 2008.
  5. Frey, Bruno S., 1993. "Motivation as a limit to pricing," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 635-664, December.
  6. Naylor, R., 1989. "A Social Custom Model Of Collective Action," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 327, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
  8. Myles, Gareth D. & Naylor, Robin A., 1996. "A model of tax evasion with group conformity and social customs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 49-66, April.
  9. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
  10. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
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