Information Disclosure Policies: Evidence from the Electricity Industry
Jay P. Shimshack
A “third wave” of environmental policy has recently emerged that emphasizes information provision as an integral part of the risk mitigation strategy. While theory suggests information programs may correct market failures and improve welfare, the empirical effectiveness of these programs remains largely undetermined. We show that mandatory information disclosure programs in the electricity industry achieve stated policy goals. We that the average proportion of fossil fuels decreases and the average proportion of clean increases in response to disclosure programs. However, the programs also produce unintended consequences. Customer composition and pre-existing fuel mix significantly affect program response, suggesting that effective information disclosure policies may not be efficient.
disclosure, information, fuel mix, electric utilities
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