Environmental policy vs. public pressure: Innovation and diffusion of alternative bleaching technologies in the pulp industry
AbstractIn the late 1980s and early 1990s, concern over dioxin in both paper products and wastewater led to the development of techniques that reduced the use of chlorine in the pulp industry. Both regulatory and consumer pressure motivated this change. Unlike previous studies, we use patent data to examine the evolution of two competing bleaching technologies in five major paper-producing countries, both of which reduce the use of chlorine in the pulping process. The use of patent data allows us to focus on the invention stage. However, adoption data are also presented, and by the end of the 1990s, nearly all pulp production in these countries used one of these technologies. While previous studies emphasize the importance of regulation for inducing innovation, here we find substantial innovation occurring before regulations were in place. Instead, pressure from consumers and the public at large to reduce the chlorine content of paper drove invention, prior to the introduction of environmental policies in any of the countries concerned.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.
Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol
Environmental innovation; Patents; Eco-labelling; Pulp and paper;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
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