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Estimating the impact on efficiency of the adoption of a voluntary environmental standard : an empirical study of the global copper mining industry

Tole, Lise and Koop, Gary (2013) Estimating the impact on efficiency of the adoption of a voluntary environmental standard : an empirical study of the global copper mining industry. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 39 (1). pp. 35-45. ISSN 0895-562X

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Abstract

This paper uses data on the world’s copper mining industry to measure the impact on efficiency of the adoption of the ISO 14001 environmental standard. Anecdotal and case study literature suggests that firms are motivated to adopt this standard so as to achieve greater efficiency through changes in operating procedures and processes. Using plant level panel data from 1992 to 2007 on most of the world’s industrial copper mines, the study uses stochastic frontier methods to investigate the effects of ISO adoption. The variety of models used in this study find that adoption either tends to improve efficiency or has no impact on efficiency, but no evidence is found that ISO adoption decreases efficiency.