NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Jean-Etienne de Bettignies

Queen's School of Business
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2015When Is Social Responsibility Socially Desirable?
with David T. Robinson: w21364
We study a model in which corporate social responsibility (CSR) arises as a response to inefficient regulation. In our model, firms, governments, and workers interact. Firms generate profits but create negative spillovers that can be attenuated through government regulation, which is set endogenously and may or may not be socially optimal. Governments may choose suboptimal levels of regulation if they face lobbying pressure from companies. Companies can, in turn, hire socially responsible employees who enjoy taking actions to ameliorate the negative spillovers. Because firms can capture part of the rent created by allowing socially responsible employees to correct social ills, in some settings they find it optimal to lobby for inefficient rules and then capture the surplus associated with ...
 
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