Information Disclosure as Environmental Regulation: A Theoretical Analysis
34 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2006
Date Written: August 2006
Governments around the world are beginning to embrace a new form of environmental regulation - mandatory disclosure of information. While information disclosure programs appear to have an impact on subsequent firm behavior - often resulting in lower levels of pollution - little is known about the costs and benefits of these programs and whether or not they enhance social welfare. This paper presents a simple bargaining model where mandatory information disclosure is used to overcome a lack of information on the part of the public. We characterize the conditions under which information disclosure will lead to a reduction in emissions, and ultimately, the conditions under which it will enhance social welfare. Several extensions of the model are briefly explored, including the effect of two sources of pollution - only one of which is subject to information disclosure.
Keywords: environmental regulation, information disclosure
JEL Classification: D62, H41, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation