Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism
We extend the economic theory of regulation to allow for strategic self-regulation that preempts political action. When political "entry" is costly for consumers, firms can deter it through voluntary restraints. Unlike standard entry models, deterrence is achieved by overinvesting to raise the rival's welfare in the event of entry. Empirical evidence on releases of toxic chemicals shows that an increased threat of regulation (as proxied by increased membership in conservation groups) indeed induces firms to reduce toxic releases. We establish conditions under which self-regulation, if it occurs, is a Pareto improvement once costs of influencing policy are included. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.
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|Date of creation:||1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, CENTER FOR STUDY OF THE ECONOMY AND THE STATE, 1101 E. 58TH STREET CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60637.|
Web page: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/economy/
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- Amihai Glazer & Henry McMillan, 1992. "Pricing by the Firm Under Regulatory Threat," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1089-1099.
- Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
- Thomas P. Lyon, 1991. "Regulation with 20-20 Hindsight: "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose"?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(4), pages 581-595, Winter.
- Braeutigam, Ronald R & Quirk, James P, 1984. "Demand Uncertainty and the Regulated Firm," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 45-60, February.
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