, Volume 22, Issue 1-2, pp 157-184

Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality

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Abstract

The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the use of voluntaryapproaches (VAs) to environmental protection, which has spurned agrowing literature on the relative merits of voluntary vs. mandatoryapproaches. This paper draws on that literature to discuss both thetheoretical and empirical issues that arise in the evaluation orassessment of a particular VA. We consider both the environmentaleffectiveness and the efficiency of this policy approach. Our aim is toaid policymakers in evaluating a specific program or in thinking aboutthe use and design of a VA. We identify some key features that arelikely to increase both the effectiveness and the efficiency of VAs.