Clubs Old and New: Participation in Voluntary Programs in the Winegrapes Sector
Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 8:30 AM
Board Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Voluntary environmental programs are mechanisms for encouraging the private provision of public goods. They offer participants an excludable branding benefit in exchange for the costs they incur to produce environmental public goods. Because excludable benefits have economic and social dimensions, we investigate how the ability of different programs to offer these benefits depends on the age or vintage of the program. We hypothesize that established programs with recognized brand names have a comparative advantage in offering economic benefits while nascent programs can encourage program participation by focusing on social and networking benefits. We evaluate this argument by comparing winegrape grower participation in four types of programs in California: a new regional sustainability program along with more established biodynamic, organic, and statewide sustainability programs. We find that participation in the nascent regional sustainability programs is driven heavily by winegrape growers’ relationships with local outreach organizations, while participation in the other established programs is influenced more by economic factors.