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Is Corporate Environmentalism Profitable? Experimental Investigations of the Effects of Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumption, Employment and Political Activity

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Firms engage in environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) when they go beyond the requirements of current environmental law. In recent years, firms have been changing their business operations by cutting back on pollution and developing green products, even though such steps are not mandated by regulations. Firms have also started donating money to environmental NGOs and partnering with them on green initiatives.

This project will conduct a series of experiments in labs, embedded in public opinion surveys and in the field, to study how ECSR affects public consumption, employment and political activity.

If the results show that ECSR helps increase sales, attract talent and avert costly regulations, companies may gain confidence that environmentalism makes economic sense even in the absence of government regulation. Similarly, the studys findings could give policymakers the ability to better distinguish when regulations are necessary.

Principal Investigators:

Neil Malhotra Edith M. Cornell Business Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Political Science

Michael Tomz William Bennett Munro Professor in Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Benoit Monin Bowin H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor in Leadership and Values and Professor of Psychology