International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 6 > Issue 2

Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Lessons on Effectiveness, Efficiency and Spillover Potential

Frans P. de Vries, Division of Economics, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, UK, f.p.devries@stir.ac.uk Andries Nentjes, Faculty of Law, Department of Law and Economics, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, A.Nentjes@rechten.rug.nl Neil Odam, Division of Economics, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, UK, n.j.odam@stir.ac.uk
 
Suggested Citation
Frans P. de Vries, Andries Nentjes and Neil Odam (2012), "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Lessons on Effectiveness, Efficiency and Spillover Potential", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 6: No. 2, pp 119-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/101.00000049

Published: 10 Mar 2012
© 2012 F. P. de Vries, A. Nentjes and N. Odam
 
Subjects
Environmental Economics
 
Keywords
L51Q50Q55Q58
Voluntary agreementsVoluntary programsEffectivenessEfficiencyAbatement targetsParticipationFree-ridingAllocationSpillovers
 

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 Lessons on Effectiveness
3 Lessons on Efficiency
4 Discussion
References

Abstract

Voluntary agreements (VAs) have been widely used in environmental policymaking over the past 20 years. This paper reviews relevant theoretical and empirical literature on VAs, assessing their performance in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness is evaluated on three criteria: (i) effectiveness in setting the pollution abatement target, (ii) effectiveness in incentivising participation, and (iii) effectiveness in realizing the abatement target. Both static efficiency, in particular the allocation of abatement among participants in the VA, and dynamic efficiency, in particular the role of technology and informational spillovers, are evaluated. Finally, we identify gaps in the literature that provide opportunities for future research.

DOI:10.1561/101.00000049