Edited By: Bruce L Hay, Robert N Stavins and Richard HK Vietor
Everyone agrees that firms should obey the law. But beyond the law - beyond 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? May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? 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 do some 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 CSR and provide a foundation for future research and policymaking.
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