Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms: "Perspectives from Law, Economics, and Business"

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Everyone agrees that firms should obey the law. But beyond what the law requires-beyond bare compliance with regulations-do firms have additional social responsibilities to commit resources voluntarily to environmental protection? How should we think about firms sacrificing profits in the social interest? Are they permitted to do so, given their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Even if permissible, is the practice sustainable, or will the competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Furthermore, is the practice, however well intended, an efficient use of social and economic resources? And, as an empirical matter, to what extent do firms already behave this way? Until now, public discussion has generated more heat than light on both the normative and positive questions surrounding corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the environmental realm. In Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms, some of the nation's leading scholars in law, economics, and business examine commonly accepted assumptions at the heart of current debates on corporate social responsibility and provide a foundation for future research and policymaking.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Resources for the Future has published a stimulating new book which showcases differing views on the topic of corporate social responsibility. . . . [These issues] are argued back and forth with verve and spirit. Well worth reading if you want to understand the important stakes at the heart of the CSR debate.'
The Environmental Forum
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933115030
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/6/2005
  • Series: RFF Press Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 0.47 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce L. Hay is a professor of law at Harvard Law School.

Robert N. Stavins is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Richard H. K. Vietor is the Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management at the Harvard Business School.

Distinguished contributors to this book include Einer Elhauge and Mark Roe of Harvard Law School; John Donohue and Daniel Esty of Yale Law School; Paul Portney of Resources for the Future; Dennis Aigner of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Forest Reinhardt of Harvard Business School; Eric Orts of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; and David Vogel of the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

About the Contributors
The Four Questions of Corporate Social Responsibility: May They, Can They, Should They, Do They?
Bruce L. Hay, Robert N. Stavins, and Richard H. K. Vietor
Part I: The Legal Perspective
Corporate Managers' Operational Discretion to Sacrifice Corporate Profits in the Public Interest
Einer R. Elhauge
Comments on Elhauge:
Does Greater Managerial Freedom to Sacrifice Profits Lead to Higher Social Welfare?
John J. Donohue
On Sacrificing Profits in the Public Interest
Mark J. Roe
Summary of Discussion
Part II: The Economic Perspective
Corporate Social Responsibility: An Economic and Public Policy Perspective
Paul R. Portney
Comments on Portney:
Does Corporate Social Responsibility Have to Be Unprofitable?
Dennis J. Aigner
On Portney's Complaint:
Reconceptualizing Corporate Social Responsibility
Daniel C. Esty
Summary of Discussion
Part III: The Business Perspective
Environmental Protection and the Social Responsibility of Firms: Perspectives from the Business Literature
Forest L. Reinhardt
Comments on Reinhardt:
Ethics, Risk, and the Environment in Corporate Responsibility
Eric W. Orts
Opportunities for and Limitations of Corporate Environmentalism
David Vogel
Summary of Discussion

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Ice tears

    Its good keep writing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    The story of a unoffical Madpony~ Part Ten

    As the group went along, the group became more slippery and steep, and very soon they were climbing. Somepony mustve put a spell on the pegasai, so they couldn't fly. "Um.. are you only doing this for the death of your former marefreind? Cause this is a pretty big risk to take, y' know.." Squeak whispered to Blue lightning. "Its not for her, even if I want it to. Other ponies are being murdered, didnt you hear how the Wonderbolt captain went missing, and was found dead?!" Squeak shook her head. "I dont read the news." She said simply, and climbed faster. Blue lightning sighed. "Maybe this was pushing it to far.. Maybe im putting everypony in danger.." he thought as the peak came in sight.<br>
    ~~~End of part Ten~~~

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