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The Importance of Regulation-Induced Innovation for Sustainable Development

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Author Info

  • Nicholas A. Ashford

    ()
    (MIT Technology and Law Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA)

  • Ralph P. Hall

    ()
    (Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA)

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    Abstract

    This article explores the complex relationship between environmental regulation, innovation, and sustainable development within the context of an increasingly globalizing economy. The economic development, environment, and employment aspects of sustainable development are emphasized. We contend that the most crucial problem in achieving sustainability is lock-in or path dependency due to (1) the failure to envision, design, and implement policies that achieve co-optimization, or the mutually reinforcing, of social goals, and (2) entrenched economic and political interests that gain from the present system and advancement of its current trends. The article argues that industrial policy, environmental law and policy, and trade initiatives must be ‘opened up’ by expanding the practice of multi-purpose policy design, and that these policies must be integrated as well. Sustainable development requires stimulating revolutionary technological innovation through environmental, health, safety, economic, and labor market regulation. Greater support for these changes must also be reinforced by ‘opening up the participatory and political space’ to enable new voices to contribute to integrated thinking and solutions.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/1/270/pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 270-292

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:270-292:d:11019

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: co-optimization; economic development; employment; environment; innovation; health and safety; lock-in; path dependency; policy integration; regulation; system changes; sustainability; sustainable development; trade;

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    References

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    1. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1997. "Environmental Regulation And Innovation: A Panel Data Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 610-619, November.
    2. Martin Jänicke & Klaus Jacob, 2004. "Lead Markets for Environmental Innovations: A New Role for the Nation State," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 29-46, 02.
    3. Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1993. "In search of useful theory of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 108-108, April.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    5. James M. Utterback & Happy J. Acee, 2005. "Disruptive Technologies: An Expanded View," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(01), pages 1-17.
    6. Abernathy, William J. & Clark, Kim B., 1985. "Innovation: Mapping the winds of creative destruction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 3-22, February.
    7. Ekins, Paul & Folke, Carl & Costanza, Robert, 1994. "Trade, environment and development: the issues in perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-12, January.
    8. Clayton M. Christensen & Fernando F. Suárez & James M. Utterback, 1998. "Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(12-Part-2), pages S207-S220, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. John C. Dernbach & Joel A. Mintz, 2011. "Environmental Laws and Sustainability: An Introduction," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 531-540, March.
    2. Christian Brodhag, 2013. "Research universities, technology transfer, and job creation: what infrastructure, for what training?," Post-Print emse-00804454, HAL.

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