Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Ecolables: Are they Environmental-Friendly?

  • Lisette IbanezEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_520

Abstract

This article provides a general overview of the technical, economical, regulatory and environmental aspects of ecolabeling. An ecolabel is a market-based policy instrument that can be either voluntarily adopted or mandated by law. Ecolabels are applied to services and products in order to inform consumers of their environmental-friendliness and to avoid market failures. In reality, however, ecolabels do not always succeed in achieving environmental improvements. The mis-use of environmental standards, the practice of strategic manipulations that create trade-distortions, the excessive use of claims, and behavioural biases are some of the factors that can prevent an ecolabel from reaching its initial objective to reduce or even eliminate environmental externalities.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Amacher G, Koskela E, Ollikainen M (2004) Environmental quality competition and eco-labeling. J Environ Econ Manag 47:284–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bonroy O, Constantatos C (2015) On the economics of labels: how their introduction affects the functioning of markets and the welfare of all participants. Am J Agric Econ, forthcoming 97(1):239–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bougherara D, Grolleau G, Thiébaut L (2005) Can labelling policies do more harm than good? An analysis applied to environmental labelling schemes. Eur J Law Econ 19:5–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clot S, Grolleau G, Ibanez L (2014) Do good deeds make bad people? Eur J Law Econ, forthcoming  https://doi.org/10.1007/510657-014-9441-4
  5. Cohen M, Viscusi WK (2012) The role of information disclosure in climate mitigation policy. Climate Change Econ 3(4):1–21Google Scholar
  6. D’Souza C, Taghian M, Lamb P, Peretiatko R (2007) Green decisions: demographics and consumer understanding of environmental labels. Int J Consum Stud 31:371–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Delmas M, Naim-Birch N, Balzarova M (2013) Choosing the right eco-label for your product. MIT Sloan Manag Rev 54(4):10–12Google Scholar
  8. Dosi C, Moretto M (2001) Is ecolabelling a reliable environmental policy measure? Environ Resour Econ 18(1):113–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dyck A, Zingales L (2002) The corporate governance role of the media. Chap. 7. In: The right to tell. The role of mass media in economic development. World Bank Institute, Washington, DC, pp 107–140Google Scholar
  10. Fischer C, Lyon T (2014) Competing environmental labels. J Econ Manag Strateg (forthcoming) 23(3):692–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grolleau G, Ibanez L, Mzoughi N (2007) Industrialists hand in hand with environmentalists: how ecolabeling schemes can help firms to raise rivals’ costs. Eur J Law Econ 24(3):215–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grolleau G, Ibanez L, Mzoughi N (2009) Too much of a good thing? Why altruism can harm the environment. Ecol Econ 68(7):2145–2149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grolleau G, Ibanez L, Mzoughi N, Teisl M (2015) Helping eco-labels to fullfil their promises, Climate policy  https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2015.1033675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harbaugh R, Maxwell J, Roussillon B (2011) Label confusion: the Groucho effect of uncertain standards. Manag Sci 57(9):1512–1527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Horne R (2010) Limits to labels: the role of eco-labels in the assessment of product sustainability and routes to sustainable consumption. Int J Consum Stud 33:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ibanez L, Grolleau G (2008) Can ecolabeling schemes preserve the environment? Environ Resour Econ 40(2):233–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lathrop K, Centner T (1998) Eco-labeling and ISO 14000: an analysis of US regulatory systems and issues concerning adoption of Type II standards. Environ Manage 22(2):163–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lyon T, Maxwell J (2011) Greenwash: corporate environmental disclosure under threat of audit. J Econ Manag Strateg 20(1):3–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mason C (2011) Eco-labeling and market equilibria with noisy certification tests. Environ Resour Econ 48:537–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McCluskey J, Loureiro M (2003) Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for food labeling: a discussion of empirical studies. J Food Distrubution Res 34(3):95–102Google Scholar
  21. Nunes P, Riyanto Y (2005) Information as a regulatory instrument to price biodiversity benefits: certification and ecolabeling policy practices. Biodivers Conserv 14(8):2009–2027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. O’Brien K, Teisl M (2004) Eco-information and its effect on consumer values for environmentally certified forest products. J For Econ 10:75–96Google Scholar
  23. Porter M (1991) Towards a dynamic theory of strategy. Strateg Manag J 12:95–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Teisl M, Rubin J, Noblet C (2008) Non-dirty dancing? Interactions between ecolabels and consumers. J Econ Psychol 29:140–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thogersen J, Haugaard P, Olesen A (2010) Understanding consumer responses to ecolabels. Eur J Mark 44(11/12):1787–1810CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LAMETA, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgroUniversité de MontpellierMontpellierFrance