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Environmental Regulation as a Coordination Device for the Introduction of a Green Product: The Porter’s Hypothesis Revisited

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Abstract

According to Porter’s hypothesis, environmental regulation increases the regulated firms’ profits. However, if a “greener” strategy is more profitable why does it need regulatory intervention in order to be implemented? Let a greener product increase the adopter’s marginal cost while providing no additional benefits during the first period. In the second period, when the product's environmental attributes become known and appreciated by consumers, the adopter enjoys higher demand. By adopting the green product alone, a firm loses profits in the first period due to a) its increased costs, and b) its reduced market share; in the second period, it enjoys additional profits due to c) its increased quality, and d) its increased market share. If both firms adopt the green product market shares remain unaffected, therefore b) and d) disappear. While simultaneously adopting the green product can be profitable for both firms, for a single firm to pioneer adoption may not be so. Environmental regulation acts, therefore, as a co-ordination device reducing market inertia. By inducing both firms to act simultaneously it allows them to pass from one Nash equilibrium to another one with higher profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Barla & Christos Constantatos & Markus Herrmann, 2008. "Environmental Regulation as a Coordination Device for the Introduction of a Green Product: The Porter’s Hypothesis Revisited," Discussion Paper Series 2008_04, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised May 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2008_04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olivier Bonroy & Christos Constantatos, 2008. "On the use of labels in credence goods markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 237-252, June.
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    3. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1997. "Environmental Regulation And Innovation: A Panel Data Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 610-619, November.
    5. Simpson, R. David & Bradford, Robert III, 1996. "Taxing Variable Cost: Environmental Regulation as Industrial Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 282-300, May.
    6. Ambec, Stefan & Barla, Philippe, 2002. "A theoretical foundation of the Porter hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 355-360, May.
    7. Karen Palmer & Wallace E. Oates & Paul R. Portney, 1995. "Tightening Environmental Standards: The Benefit-Cost or the No-Cost Paradigm?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 119-132, Fall.
    8. Kennedy, Peter, 1994. "Innovation stochastique et coût de la réglementation environnementale," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 70(2), pages 199-209, juin.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Ambec & Mark A. Cohen & Stewart Elgie & Paul Lanoie, 2013. "The Porter Hypothesis at 20: Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 2-22, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Porter’s hypothesis; environmental regulation; differentiated products; coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

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