Green Clubs: Collective Action and Voluntary Environmental Programs

Posted: 15 May 2013

See all articles by Matthew Potoski

Matthew Potoski

University of California, Santa Barbara

Aseem Prakash

University of Washington - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) are institutions that encourage participating actors to produce environmental public goods beyond the requirements of government law. Drawing on the club approach to the study of VEPs, we identify four collective action challenges facing VEPs. First, sponsoring actors must be motivated to invest resources to create a VEP despite incentives to free ride on the efforts of others. Second, VEPs need to be designed to offer firms sufficient excludable incentives to join them. Third, VEPs need monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that participants adhere to program obligations and do not free ride on the efforts of other participants. Fourth, VEPs and their sponsors need to motivate stakeholders to compensate firms for producing environmental public goods. The literature reveals considerable variability in how these challenges are addressed, suggesting that successful VEPs need to fit their institutional contexts.

Suggested Citation

Potoski, Matthew and Prakash, Aseem, Green Clubs: Collective Action and Voluntary Environmental Programs (May 2013). Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 16, pp. 399-419, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2265147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-032211-211224

Matthew Potoski (Contact Author)

University of California, Santa Barbara ( email )

IA 50011
United States

Aseem Prakash

University of Washington - Department of Political Science ( email )

101 Gowen Hall
Box 353530
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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