Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective

40 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2008

See all articles by Thomas P. Lyon

Thomas P. Lyon

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

John W. Maxwell

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy; Indiana University, Department of Economics; Richard Ivey School of Business

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

We survey the growing theoretical literature on the motives for and welfare effects of corporate greening. We show how both market and political forces are making environmental CSR profitable, and we also discuss morally-motivated or altruistic CSR. Welfare effects of CSR are subtle and situation-contingent, and there is no guarantee that CSR enhances social welfare. We identify numerous areas in which additional theoretical work is needed.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, environment, self-regulation, preemption, private politics

JEL Classification: Q58, D21

Suggested Citation

Lyon, Thomas P. and Maxwell, John W., Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective (October 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1011793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1011793

Thomas P. Lyon (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States
734-615-1639 (Phone)

John W. Maxwell

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy ( email )

Department of Business Economics and Public Policy
Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855 9219 (Phone)
812-855 3354 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://johnwmaxwell.com

Indiana University, Department of Economics ( email )

Wiley Hall
Bloomington, IN
United States

Richard Ivey School of Business ( email )

The University of Western Ontario
1151 Richmond Street North
London, Ontario N6A3K7
Canada
5198502439 (Phone)
5198502306 (Fax)

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