IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is Ecolabelling a Reliable Environmental Policy Measure?


  • Cesare Dosi

    (University of Padova and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)

  • Michele Moretto

    (University of Padova and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)


Ecolabel award schemes have become increasingly popular. Their rationale is to enable (concerned) consumers to identify "green" products. By so doing, ecolabelling should stimulate environmental innovation, and induce firms to reduce the supply of conventional (polluting) products. Our analysis however points out that the two phenomena are not necessarily correlated. Through a dynamic model of investment decisions, the paper outlines the situations under which ecolabelling could induce perverse effects (increased investment in conventional technologies) and examines whether setting quantitative restrictions on the issuing of labels could constitute an antidote.

Suggested Citation

  • Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 1999. "Is Ecolabelling a Reliable Environmental Policy Measure?," Working Papers 1999.9, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:1999.9

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice B. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, "undated". "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. He, Hua & Pindyck, Robert S., 1992. "Investments in flexible production capacity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 575-599.
    3. Mattoo, Aaditya & Singh, Harsha V, 1994. "Eco-labelling: Policy Considerations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 53-65.
    4. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 1997. "Pollution Accumulation and Firm Incentives to Accelerate Technological Change Under Uncertain Private Benefits," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 285-300, October.
    5. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-777.
    6. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1998. "Irreversible investment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 3-37, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Franz Fuerst & Pat McAllister & Karen Smith, 2010. "Eco-Labeling, Rents, Sales Prices and Occupancy Rates: Do LEED and Energy Star Labeled Offices Obtain Multiple Premiums?," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2010-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Adel Ben Youssef & Rim Lahmandi-Ayed, 2008. "Eco-labelling, Competition and Environment: Endogenization of Labelling Criteria," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 133-154, October.
    3. Sengupta, Aditi, 2012. "Investment in cleaner technology and signaling distortions in a market with green consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 468-480.
    4. Christopher Bruce & Andrea Laroiya, 2007. "The Production of Eco-Labels," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 275-293, March.
    5. Junyi Shen & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2007. "Does energy efficiency label alter consumers f purchase decision? A latent class approach on Shanghai data," OSIPP Discussion Paper 07E005, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
    6. 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.
    7. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2006. "Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations," Working Papers 2006.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Michele Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2008. "Managing Migration through Quotas: an Option-theory Perspective," Working Papers 2008.51, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Kotchen, Matthew J., 2005. "Impure public goods and the comparative statics of environmentally friendly consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 281-300, March.
    10. Douadia Bougherara & Gilles Grolleau & Luc ThiƩbaut, 2005. "Can Labelling Policies Do More Harm Than Good? An Analysis Applied to Environmental Labelling Schemes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 5-16, January.
    11. Aditi Sengupta, 2016. "Green Premium, Ecolabel, and Environmental Damage," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2016-16, Department of Economics, Auburn University.

    More about this item


    Ecolabel; Green Products; Environmental Policy; Environmental Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:1999.9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.