The objective is to evaluate the performance of Costa Rica’s voluntary Blue Flag certification program, focusing on beach communities.
Policy makers in Latin America are rapidly turning to voluntary approaches to address important environmental problems despite the fact that little is known about their effectiveness and efficiency in developing countries. This problem is particularly pressing because resources available for environmental management in developing countries are scarce even while environmental problems are quite serious. This research purports to help fill this gap.
This research will contribute to the economic literature on the policy instrument choice in developing countries. To our knowledge, ours would be one of a handful of published econometric studies examining the environmental impact of a voluntary environmental program in a developing country, the first to examine the process and dynamics within communities that lead to a decision to participate in a voluntary program, and the first to use rigorous techniques to value of participation in a voluntary program in a developing country.