IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Use of Voluntary Approaches for Environmental Policymaking in the U.S

  • Keith Brouhle
  • Charles Griffiths
  • Ann Wolverton

The use of voluntary approaches to achieve environmental improvements has grown dramatically in the United States since they were first introduced thirteen years ago. As of 2004, there are over 50 voluntary programs in the U.S. at the federal level alone. These programs take a variety of forms, from large, cross-industry efforts to reduce global climate impacts to smaller, “boutique” efforts aimed at specific industrial sectors. Other voluntary approaches used in the U.S. include negotiated agreements, industry-initiated unilateral commitments, and state and regional voluntary initiatives, but these tend to be used less regularly. Despite the diversity of voluntary approaches in the U.S., they often pursue common, and sometimes overlapping environmental objectives and use similar methodologies to achieve such goals. While most voluntary initiatives in the U.S. state an explicit environmental goal, they may also have less direct policy objectives such as enhancing innovation or increasing awareness of environmental issues. In addition, information about firm participation or environmentally responsible products and products is sometimes shared with consumers. Many argue in favor of the increased use of voluntary approaches in environmental policymaking on the basis of environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, reductions in government administrative, monitoring and enforcement costs, increases in environmental awareness, and encouragement of innovation. Few programs have been evaluated properly on the basis of these objectives, however. The empirical literature sheds little light on the value of voluntary approaches in achieving goals set by U.S. environmental policy. The difficulty in evaluating voluntary approaches lies in sorting through the myriad of programs, identifying a discernible environmental goal, gathering adequate data for analysis, and measuring achievement of the environmental goal relative to a reasonable baseline scenario.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2004-05/$File/2004-05.PDF
File Function: First version, 2004
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 200405.

as
in new window

Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision: May 2004
Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200405
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460
Phone: 202-566-2244
Web page: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/webpages/homepage

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Marvin J. Horowitz, 2004. "Electricity Intensity in the Commercial Sector: Market and Public Program Effects," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 115-138.
  3. Shameek Konar & Mark A. Cohen, 2001. "Does The Market Value Environmental Performance?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 281-289, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
  6. Morgenstern, Richard, 1996. "Does the Provision of Free Technical Information Really Influence Firm Behavior?," Discussion Papers dp-96-16, Resources For the Future.
  7. Boyd, James, 1998. "Searching for the Profit in Pollution Prevention: Case Studies in the Corporate Evaluation of Environmental Opportunities," Discussion Papers dp-98-30, Resources For the Future.
  8. Blackman, Allen & Mazurek, Janice, 1999. "The Cost of Developing Site-Specific Environmental Regulations: Evidence from EPA's Project XL," Discussion Papers dp-99-35-rev, Resources For the Future.
  9. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
  10. Blackman, Allen, 1999. "Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?," Discussion Papers dp-00-02-rev, Resources For the Future.
  11. Michael T. Ozog & Donald M. Waldman, 1994. "Weighting Nonrandom Samples in Voluntary Energy Conservation Program Evaluation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 129-141.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Anna Alberini & Kathleen Segerson, 2002. "Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 157-184, June.
  15. John W. Maxwell & Thomas P Lyon & Steven C.. Hackett, 1995. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 122, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200405. 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: (Cynthia Morgan)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.