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Environmental policy vs. public pressure: Innovation and diffusion of alternative bleaching technologies in the pulp industry

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  • Popp, David
  • Hafner, Tamara
  • Johnstone, Nick

Abstract

In 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 Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1253-1268

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:9:p:1253-1268

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

Related research

Keywords: Environmental innovation; Patents; Eco-labelling; Pulp and paper;

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References

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  1. Suzi Kerr & Richard G. Newell, 2003. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 317-343, 09.
  2. Gray, Wayne B & Shadbegian, Ronald J, 1998. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 235-56, June.
  3. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Mody, Ashoka, 1996. "Innovation and the international diffusion of environmentally responsive technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-571, June.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. René Kemp, 1998. "The Diffusion of Biological Waste-Water Treatment Plants in the Dutch Food and Beverage Industry," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 113-136, July.
  6. Popp, David, 2006. "International innovation and diffusion of air pollution control technologies: the effects of NOX and SO2 regulation in the US, Japan, and Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 46-71, January.
  7. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  9. Reinstaller, Andreas, 2005. "Policy entrepreneurship in the co-evolution of institutions, preferences, and technology: Comparing the diffusion of totally chlorine free pulp bleaching technologies in the US and Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1366-1384, November.
  10. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  11. David Popp, 2003. "Pollution control innovations and the Clean Air Act of 1990," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 641-660.
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Cited by:
  1. Peltoniemi, Mirva, 2013. "Mechanisms of capability evolution in the Finnish forest industry cluster," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 190-205.
  2. Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli & Lionel Nesta, 2012. "Determinants of Renewable Energy Innovation: environmental policies vs. market regulation," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-05, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09j0h0ji242 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Matthieu Glachant, 2011. "Does foreign environmental policy influence domestic innovation ? Evidence from the wind industry," Post-Print hal-00574108, HAL.
  5. Zhang, Zhaoguo & Jin, Xiaocui & Yang, Qingxiang & Zhang, Yi, 2013. "An empirical study on the institutional factors of energy conservation and emissions reduction: Evidence from listed companies in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 36-42.
  6. Alessio D'Amato & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2011. "Waste Sustainability, Environmental Management and Mafia: Analysing Geographical and Economic Dimensions," CEIS Research Paper 213, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 24 Oct 2011.

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