IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iuk/wpaper/2007-07.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Voluntary Programs Reconsidered

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas P. Lyon

    (Ross School of Business, University of Michigan)

  • John W. Maxwell

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

Abstract

“Public voluntary programs” (PVPs) involve government offers of positive publicity and technical assistance to firms that reach certain environmental goals. A growing body of empirical evidence suggests these programs often have little impact on the behavior of their participants. A natural policy conclusion would be to eliminate these programs, but this paper offers several reasons not to jump to such a conclusion. We first present a political-economic framework in which PVPs are viewed as modest subsidies used when political opposition makes stronger environmental regulation infeasible. We then explore the design of PVPs in detail, showing how PVPs can potentially enhance the diffusion of cost-effective techniques for pollution abatement, so long as the information involved is not competitively sensitive. Identifying the effects of PVPs econometrically is difficult because information is likely to diffuse to non-participants. Thus, after the early phases of even a successful PVP, it may well be impossible to detect a difference in performance between participants and non-participants.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2007. "Public Voluntary Programs Reconsidered," Working Papers 2007-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2007-07
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://kelley.iu.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2007-07-lyon-maxwell.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lyon,Thomas P. & Maxwell,John W., 2004. "Corporate Environmentalism and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521819473, March.
    2. Khanna, Madhu & Damon, Lisa A., 1999. "EPA's Voluntary 33/50 Program: Impact on Toxic Releases and Economic Performance of Firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, January.
    3. Eric W. Welch & Allan Mazur & Stuart Bretschneider, 2000. "Voluntary behavior by electric utilities: Levels of adoption and contribution of the climate challenge program to the reduction of carbon dioxide," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 407-425.
    4. DeCanio, Stephen J, 1998. "The efficiency paradox: bureaucratic and organizational barriers to profitable energy-saving investments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 441-454, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti, 2006. "Did the EPA's voluntary industrial toxics program reduce emissions? A GIS analysis of distributional impacts and by-media analysis of substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 391-410, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha, 2007. "Can voluntary pollution prevention programs fulfill their promises? Further evidence from the EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 180-195, March.
    9. John Maxwell & Christopher Decker, 2006. "Voluntary Environmental Investment and Responsive Regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(4), pages 425-439, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Rinaldo Brau & Carlo Carraro, 2011. "The design of voluntary agreements in oligopolistic markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 111-142, April.
    2. Rosetta Lombardo, 2009. "Beyond Compliance: Firms’ Environmental Behaviour. A Survey," Working Papers 200918, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    3. Andreas Ferrara and Ian Lange, 2014. "Voluntary Programs to Encourage Diffusion: The Case of the Combined Heat-and-Power Partnership," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    4. Färe, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2010. "Toxic releases: An environmental performance index for coal-fired power plants," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 158-165, January.
    5. Lange Ian, 2009. "Evaluating Voluntary Measures with Treatment Spillovers: The Case of Coal Combustion Products Partnership," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, September.
    6. Ian Lange, 2008. "Evaluating Voluntary Programs with Spillovers: The Case of Coal Combustion Products Partnership," NCEE Working Paper Series 200812, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Dec 2008.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:iuk:wpaper:2007-07. 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: (Rick Harbaugh). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dpiubus.html .

    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.