A Study Looking at Environmental Regulation Scholarship Concludes That Laws Help Reduce Pollution Without Generally Damaging Firms’ Competitiveness


Researchers from the University of Granada, in collaboration with the universities of Berkeley and Minnesota, have conducted a review of the most important international scholarship on environmental regulation and firms.

The researchers propose that international initiatives, such as the World Climate Summit in Madrid, should provide the basis for more effective future regulations. Their findings have been published in the research journal with the greatest worldwide impact in the fields of business and business management

The United Nations Climate Change (COP25) World Climate Summit, which starts today in Madrid, is the latest initiative by world governments to seek agreement on legal frameworks to help protect the planet. However, there are still many critical voices that question the effectiveness of laws in reducing pollution. Opponents of regulation claim that laws can lead to systems that are too rigid and unable to adapt to technological changes. Others believe that firms will find ways to bypass legal controls and that, therefore, laws do not achieve significant progress. However, this review of research on the subject points to a scenario that is, in fact, much more favourable toward the potential of environmental regulation.

A team of three researchers coordinated by Alberto Aragón, Professor of Business Management at the University of Granada, conducted a painstaking review of the primary empirical research findings on environmental regulation and business management. The study aimed to offer recommendations based on points of consensus.

The work was conducted in collaboration with Professor Alfred Marcus (University of Minnesota) and Professor David Vogel (University of Berkeley) and is due for publication in Academy of Management Annals—the number one research journal in the world by impact factor in the categories of “business” and “management”.

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