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Regulation and opportunism: How much activism do we need?

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the current trend towards firms’ self-regulation as opposed to the formal regulation of a negative externality. Firms respond to increasing activism in the market(conscious consumers that take into account the external effects of their purchase) by providing more socially responsible goods. However, because regulation is the outcome of a political process, an increase in activism might imply an inefficiently higher externality level. This may happen when a majority of non-activist consumers collectively free-ride on conscious consumers. By determining a softer than optimal regulation, they benefit from the behavior of firms, yet they have access to cheaper (although less efficient) goods.

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  • Aleix Calveras & Juan José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet, 2005. "Regulation and opportunism: How much activism do we need?," Economics Working Papers 935, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:935
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    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/935.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laura Marsiliani & Thomas Renstrom, 2002. "On Income Inequality and Green Preferences," Wallis Working Papers WP30, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    2. Timothy J. Feddersen & Thomas W. Gilligan, 2001. "Saints and Markets: Activists and the Supply of Credence Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 149-171, March.
    3. Robert Innes, 2006. "A Theory of Consumer Boycotts under Symmetric Information and Imperfect Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 355-381, April.
    4. Andreoni, James, 2006. "Philanthropy," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    5. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-173, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan-José Ganuza & Gerard Llobet & Beatriz Domínguez, 2009. "R& D in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A World of Small Innovations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(4), pages 539-551, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Activism; Corporate Social Responsability; Voting and Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects

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