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Strategic environmental policy and the accumulation of knowledge

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  • Ziesemer, Thomas
  • Michaelis, Peter
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    Abstract

    In dealing with a transnational pollutant-emitting duopoly welfare-maximising policy makers face two negative externalities: imperfect competition and unpriced emissions. Strategic environmental policy models show that these externalities involve a trade-off between reducing pollution and allowing for rent-seeking of the respective firm. This dilemma usually results in a suboptimal internalisation of the negative externality emerging from emissions. Indeed, the conventional model setup includes an R&D stage that enables the firms to mitigate regulation costs. But the typical one period configuration ignores that R&D expenditures create knowledge capital which is, due to its inherent cumulativeness, also effective in following periods. Our model analyses the established trade-off in a two period setting and therefore allows for an investigation of intertemporal knowledge accumulation. We find that the intertemporal effects provide an incentive for a policy maker to set a higher tax rate compared to a one-period setup which lessens the magnitude of the suboptimal internalisation of emissions. Under certain conditions even a tax rate above the Pigouvian level is possible in period 1.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 180-191

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:22:y:2011:i:2:p:180-191

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/525148

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    Keywords: Strategic environmental policy Induced innovation Knowledge capital;

    References

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    1. Eberhard Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2002. "Strategic Environmental Policy, Clean Technologies and the Learning Curve," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(2), pages 149-166, October.
    2. Conrad Klaus, 1993. "Taxes and Subsidies for Pollution-Intensive Industries as Trade Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-135, September.
    3. Argote, L. & Epple, D., 1990. "Learning Curves In Manufacturing," GSIA Working Papers 89-90-02, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    4. Jaffe, Adam B. & Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 164-174, August.
    5. Golombek Rolf & Hoel Michael, 2006. "Second-Best Climate Agreements and Technology Policy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, January.
    6. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2007. "Optimal Timing of Environmental Policy. Interaction between Environmental Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Discussion Papers 493, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
    7. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
    8. Rauscher, Michael, 1994. "On Ecological Dumping," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 822-40, Supplemen.
    9. Hart, Rob, 2008. "The timing of taxes on CO2 emissions when technological change is endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 194-212, March.
    10. Golombek, Rolf & Hoel, Michael, 2006. "Endogenous technology and tradable emission quotas," Memorandum 03/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    11. Kennedy Peter W., 1994. "Equilibrium Pollution Taxes in Open Economies with Imperfect Competition," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 49-63, July.
    12. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Dixit, Avinash K, 1986. "Comparative Statics for Oligopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 107-22, February.
    14. Simpson, R. David & Bradford, Robert III, 1996. "Taxing Variable Cost: Environmental Regulation as Industrial Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 282-300, May.
    15. Ulph, A. & Ulph, D., 1994. "Trade, strategic innovation and strategic environmental policy: a general analysis," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9416, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
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