King, Andrew, and Michael Lenox. "Industry Self-Regulation Without Sanctions: The Chemical Industry's Responsible Care Program." Academy of Management Journal, August 2000.


Studies the impact of the U.S. chemical industry's Responsible Care environmental self-regulation program on 1,500 chemical firms for the years 1987-1996. Finds that participation in the Responsible Care program was actually a negative indicator (p<.001) for the rate of improvement in environmental performance as measured by the authors' analysis of the EPS Toxic Release inventory (the TRI emissions are weighted by toxicity, a very appropriate adjustment, but one rarely used with this data). Coefficients for Responsible Care were negative and statistically significant in both firm-level and facility-level models. The authors view this as evidence that the industry's self-regulation regiment did not have strong enough sanctions to encourage improvement by participants in the program. They note, however, that the industry's "total toxicity-weighted emissions were reduced by nearly 50 percent" during the time period studied.