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

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Macedonia in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2008_04.

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Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision: May 2008
Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2008_04
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bonroy, O. & Constantatos, C., 2007. "On the use of labels in credence goods markets," Working Papers 200709, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  5. 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.
  6. Ambec, Stefan & Barla, Philippe, 2002. "A theoretical foundation of the Porter hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 355-360, May.
  7. Barbera, Anthony J. & McConnell, Virginia D., 1990. "The impact of environmental regulations on industry productivity: Direct and indirect effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 50-65, January.
  8. repec:inr:wpaper:20521 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
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