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Non-Binding Voluntary Agreements

  • Matthieu Glachant


    (CERNA - Centre d'économie industrielle - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)

In reality, most voluntary agreements with polluters (VAs) are not enforceable in the sense that no legal tools are available to enforce Örmsí commitments. We examine whether such VAs are able to achieve an e¢ cient level of environmental protection when they are obtained under the legislative threat of a pollution quota. We show that they can improve social welfare relative to legislative intervention when lobbying Congress is very e§ective and when the polluter and the regulator do not discount future costs and beneÖts heavily. These Öndings suggest that VAs should be used selectively, taking into account sector characteristics and the degree of ináuence of lobbying on Congress.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00437769.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, 2007, 54 (1), pp.32-48. <10.1016/j.jeem.2007.01.001>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00437769
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2007.01.001
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  1. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2003. "A bargaining model of voluntary environmental agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2725-2736, December.
  2. Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
  3. Lyon, Thomas P. & Maxwell, John W., 2003. "Self-regulation, taxation and public voluntary environmental agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1453-1486, August.
  4. Lyon,Thomas P. & Maxwell,John W., 2004. "Corporate Environmentalism and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521819473.
  5. Muthoo,Abhinay, 1999. "Bargaining Theory with Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521576475.
  6. Arguedas, Carmen, 2005. "Bargaining in environmental regulation revisited," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 422-433, September.
  7. Arora, Seema & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1995. "Toward a theoretical model of voluntary overcompliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 289-309, December.
  8. Amacher, Gregory S. & Malik, Arun S., 1996. "Bargaining in Environmental Regulation and the Ideal Regulator," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 233-253, March.
  9. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
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