Can CSR-based Self-regulation be a Substitute for Legal Regulation? Conclusions from Public Goods Experiments

Rainer Maurer


This article discusses various arguments, which question the effectiveness of self-regulation as an instrument to implement societally preferred environmental and social standards. Special focus is set on experimental results. These results indicate that it is not plausible that effective self-regulation in areas such as environmental protection or social standards is actually feasible under market conditions. The experimental evidence is much more in favor with the traditional approach that environmental or social standards should be implemented by general laws under the surveillance of an executive state body.


Self-regulation; Corporate Social Responsibility; Experimental Economics; Economic Policy; External Effects

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