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Environmental Regulations and Managerial Myopia


  • Armin Schmutzler

    () (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)


It has recently been claimed that, contrary to popular perception, suitably chosen environmental regulation is often beneficial for the regulated firms because it induces cost-reducing innovations. I analyze to which extent this position is compatible with microeconomic analysis. It turns out that even in a framework in which organizational inefficiencies might lead to underinvestment, environmental policy can only increase firm profits if several very specific conditions are met. These conditions concern the type of policy, the extent of inefficiencies, the costs of potential innovation projects and their effect on productivity and abatement costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Armin Schmutzler, 1998. "Environmental Regulations and Managerial Myopia," SOI - Working Papers 9903, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:9903

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stein, Jeremy C, 1988. "Takeover Threats and Managerial Myopia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 61-80, February.
    2. Sinclair-Desgagne, Bernard & Gabel, H. Landis, 1997. "Environmental Auditing in Management Systems and Public Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 331-346, July.
    3. Gabel H. Landis & Sinclair-Desgagne Bernard, 1993. "Managerial Incentives and Environmental Compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 229-240, May.
    4. Richard J. Zeckhauser & John Pound, 1990. "Are Large Shareholders Effective Monitors? An Investigation of Share Ownership and Corporate Performance," NBER Chapters,in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 149-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
    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. DeCanio, Stephen J., 1993. "Barriers within firms to energy-efficient investments," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 906-914, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marius Ley, Tobias Stucki, and Martin Woerter, 2016. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Green Innovation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    2. Kriechel, Ben & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2003. "The Environmental Porter Hypothesis as a Technology Adoption Problem?," Research Memorandum 011, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Ben Kriechel & Thomas Ziesemer, 2009. "The environmental Porter hypothesis: theory, evidence, and a model of timing of adoption," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 267-294.
    4. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2006. "Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations," Working Papers 2006.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Sascha Rexhäuser & Christian Rammer, 2014. "Environmental Innovations and Firm Profitability: Unmasking the Porter Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 145-167, January.
    6. Iwata, Hiroki, 2016. "Environmental Regulation and Choice of Innovation in Oligopoly," MPRA Paper 70280, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ziesemer, Thomas & Kriechel, Ben, 2006. "Taxation and Technology Adoption: A Hotelling Approach," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Andreas Polk, 2002. "Lobbying Activities of Multinational Firms," SOI - Working Papers 0205, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2002.

    More about this item


    environmental regulation; internal inefficiencies; innovation offsets; managerial myopia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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