Can Information-Based Policies Do More Harm than Good?

CESAER Working Paper No. 2005/5

17 Pages Posted: 12 May 2005

See all articles by Naoufel Mzoughi

Naoufel Mzoughi

INRA Ecodéveloppement

Gilles Grolleau

Montpellier SupAgro and Researcher at LAMETA

Douadia Bougherara

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

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

Mzoughi, Naoufel and Grolleau, Gilles and Bougherara, Douadia, Can Information-Based Policies Do More Harm than Good? (2005). CESAER Working Paper No. 2005/5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=719921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.719921

Naoufel Mzoughi (Contact Author)

INRA Ecodéveloppement ( email )

Domaine Saint-Paul - Site Agroparc
Avignon cedex 9, 84914
France

Gilles Grolleau

Montpellier SupAgro and Researcher at LAMETA ( email )

France

Douadia Bougherara

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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