Can Information-Based Policies Do More Harm than Good?
CESAER Working Paper No. 2005/5
17 Pages Posted: 12 May 2005
Date Written: 2005
Environmental policy has intensively focused on information-based instruments that seek to change agents' behavior through information provision. This information provision is generally considered as likely to ultimately improve environmental quality. We suggest a new and complementary way to consider information-based instruments. We fo malize the insight that information provision differs from information impact by introducing the concept of informational elasticity. We show that beyond an optimum level, an additional information load, regardless of the information quality, could do more harm than good. Indeed, some perverse effects could occur, resulting in a worse overall impact. Several policy implications are stressed.
Keywords: Voluntary approaches, Information provision, Policy valuation
JEL Classification: Q50, D80, K20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation