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EE Seminar

Environmental Economics Seminar

Optimal Environmental Activism


Mireille Chiroleu Assouline
University Professor at Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne University



We study the problem faced by actvists who want to maximize firms’ compliance with high environmental standards by means of non-violent civil disoberdience. Our focus is on radical activism that uses damaging actions and the threat thereof to force firms to concede. The activist’s power is characterized by looking at a general mechanism, directly adapted from Myerson’s (1981) optimal auction theory. This characterization informs that less vulnerable firms should be targeted with damaging actions while the others are granted a guarantee not to be targeted in exchange for concessions. It also allows studying some determinants of eco activism’s power measured by three indicators, probability for action against firms, the magnitude of concessions and global gain including public support. We next investigate the impact of governemental repression and find that optimal activism is relatively resilient to repression. The analysis reveals a dilemma which leaves a government attempting to contain the power of activism with extreme and risky choices. Finally we consider the impact of firms’ self-regulation and collective action aimed at protecting firms against activism.

Co-author : Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky

Practical information


Montpellier SupAgro / INRA - Bat. 26 - Centre de documentation Pierre Bartoli
2 Place Viala 34000 Montpellier

Dates & time

Sep 27, 2019


Julie Subervie
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Gwenolé Le Velly
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