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Voluntary Emission Reductions, Social Rewards, and Environmental Policy

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  • Rauscher, Michael

Abstract

Social norms and intrinsic motivations lead to voluntary environmentally responsible behaviour even in the absence of environmental policy. The paper shows that the introduction of environmental policy may lead to a reduction of voluntary abatement and sometimes may increase emissions and environmental damage. The explanation is that voluntary abatement is socially rewarded and the reward depends on the general attitude of society towards voluntary abatement. So, if the government tightens environmental standards, the voluntary component of abatement is reduced and the social reward is negatively affected. Some considerations concerning optimal environmental policies are discussed towards the end of the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Rauscher, Michael, 1997. "Voluntary Emission Reductions, Social Rewards, and Environmental Policy," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 10, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:roswps:10
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/78290/1/wp010thuenen.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frey, Bruno S., 1993. "Motivation as a limit to pricing," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 635-664, December.
    2. Frey, Bruno S, 1992. "Tertium Datur: Pricing, Regulating and Intrinsic Motivation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 161-184.
    3. Naylor, Robin, 1990. "A social custom model of collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 201-216, October.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    5. Frey, Bruno S, 1986. "Economists Favour the Price System--Who Else Does?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 537-563.
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    Cited by:

    1. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Munda, Giuseppe, 2000. "Alternative models of individual behaviour and implications for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 43-61, January.
    2. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell & Guiseppe Munda, 1998. "Models of Individual Behavior and Implications for Environmental Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-121/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Ho Shirley, 2010. "Social norms and emission tax multiple equilibria in adopting pollution abatement device," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 97-105.

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