Political Economy of Voluntary Approaches: A Lesson from Environmental Policies in Japan

25 Pages Posted: 26 May 2016

See all articles by Toshi H. Arimura

Toshi H. Arimura

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Shinji Kaneko

Hiroshima University

Shunsuke Managi

Kyushu University

Takayoshi Shinkuma

Kansai University - Faculty of Economics

Masashi Yamamoto

Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER)

Yuichiro Yoshida

Hiroshima University - Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC)

Date Written: April 2016

Abstract

In this paper, we attempt to identify the reasons behind the differences in environmental policy between Japan and other developed countries, particularly the US. Japan’s environmental policy is unique in that voluntary approaches have been taken to reduce total emissions. This strategy is quite different from the traditional approach of heavy-handed regulation. In Japan, voluntary approaches are conducted through negotiations with polluters. The idea behind this type of voluntary approaches is that the government can induce polluters to abate emissions voluntarily by using light-handed regulations and the threat of heavy-handed regulations. The light-handed regulation is quite effective especially when it is costly to introduce heavy-handed regulations, although the negotiations are difficult to conduct when the number of stakeholders is large. To strengthen our analysis, we provide some examples of Japanese environmental policies which are successful and the ones that are not.

Suggested Citation

Arimura, Toshihide H. and Kaneko, Shinji and Managi, Shunsuke and Shinkuma, Takayoshi and Yamamoto, Masashi and Yoshida, Yuichiro, Political Economy of Voluntary Approaches: A Lesson from Environmental Policies in Japan (April 2016). Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) Paper No. E-107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2784145

Toshihide H. Arimura

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050
Japan

Shinji Kaneko

Hiroshima University ( email )

United States

Shunsuke Managi

Kyushu University ( email )

Fukuoka, Fukuoka
Japan

HOME PAGE: http://www.managi-lab.com/english.html

Takayoshi Shinkuma

Kansai University - Faculty of Economics ( email )

3-3-35 Yamatecho
Suita, Osaka, 564-8680
Japan

Masashi Yamamoto (Contact Author)

Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) ( email )

Sankyo Building
Room 703, Main Building
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 1-7-10
Japan

Yuichiro Yoshida

Hiroshima University - Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC) ( email )

1-5-1 Kagamiyama
Hiroshima, 739-8529
Japan

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