Does Eco-Labeling of Services Matter? Evidence from Higher Education

45 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015

See all articles by Daniel Hickman

Daniel Hickman

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics

Andrew Meyer

Marquette University

Date Written: October 5, 2015

Abstract

Eco-labeling of services has become increasingly common, yet little empirical evidence exists concerning its effectiveness. We address this gap in the literature by analyzing a highly visible eco-label, the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), in the sector of higher education. We match information about the ACUPCC to the US Department of Education IPEDS database to examine the impact of signing on student applications, admissions, and enrollment. We utilize two estimation strategies each involving distinct counterfactuals to identify the effects of interest. Difference-in-difference and interrupted time series approaches both find that signing the ACUPCC increases applications and admitted students by 2.5-3.5%. However, the evidence regarding enrollment is weaker with only some specifications finding increases of around 1-2%. These results show that, at the minimum, voluntary and information based approaches (VIBAs) for services can be effective in generating visibility and influencing less-costly consumer behavior.

Keywords: eco-labeling, information provision, educational economics, higher education, VIBAs

JEL Classification: D12, I23, Q54

Suggested Citation

Hickman, Daniel and Meyer, Andrew, Does Eco-Labeling of Services Matter? Evidence from Higher Education (October 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2673186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2673186

Daniel Hickman

University of Idaho - College of Business & Economics ( email )

Moscow, ID 83944-3174
United States

Andrew Meyer (Contact Author)

Marquette University ( email )

1225 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
United States
414-288-5489 (Phone)

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