Corporate social responsibility?

Stavins in his column on the Environmental Economics Blog suggests we should think about corporate social responsibility by answering to four key questions: may companiesí managers sacrifice profits in the social interest given their responsibility to shareholders? It is possible to sacrifice profits in a competitive environment if competitors donít? Even if it were possible should profits be sacrificed? Finally, do some firms today really sacrifice profits or are they rather increasing them in the long run by increasing public goodwill through corporate social responsibility? See also John Whiteheadís comment.

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