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How Large Are the Welfare Gains from Technological Innovation Induced by Environmental Policies?

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  • Parry, Ian W H
  • Pizer, William A
  • Fischer, Carolyn

Abstract

This paper examines whether the welfare gains from technological innovation that reduces future abatement costs are larger or smaller than the "Pigouvian" welfare gains from optimal pollution control. The relative welfare gains from innovation depend on three key factors--the initially optimal level of abatement, the speed at which innovation reduces future abatement costs, and the discount rate. We calculate the welfare gains from innovation under a variety of different scenarios. Mostly they are less than the Pigouvian welfare gains. To be greater, innovation must reduce abatement costs substantially and quickly and the initially optimal abatement level must be fairly modest. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 237-55

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Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:23:y:2003:i:3:p:237-55

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  1. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," Discussion Papers dp-00-47, Resources For the Future.
  2. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  3. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Discounting the Distant Future: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations?," Discussion Papers dp-00-45, Resources For the Future.
  5. Muradian, Roldan, 2001. "Ecological thresholds: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 7-24, July.
  6. Jung, Chulho & Krutilla, Kerry & Boyd, Roy, 1996. "Incentives for Advanced Pollution Abatement Technology at the Industry Level: An Evaluation of Policy Alternatives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 95-111, January.
  7. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  8. Fischer, Carolyn & Parry, Ian W. H. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Instrument choice for environmental protection when technological innovation is endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 523-545, May.
  9. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  10. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan & Austin, David & Farrell, Deirdre & Mansur, Erin, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Reducing Acid Rain," Discussion Papers dp-97-31-rev, Resources For the Future.
  11. Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
  12. Parry, Ian W H, 1998. "Pollution Regulation and the Efficiency Gains from Technological Innovation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 229-54, November.
  13. Dallas Burtraw & Alan Krupnick & Erin Mansur & David Austin & Deirdre Farrell, 1998. "Costs And Benefits Of Reducing Air Pollutants Related To Acid Rain," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 379-400, October.
  14. Kolstad, Charles D., 1996. "Learning and Stock Effects in Environmental Regulation: The Case of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, July.
  15. Parry, Ian W. H., 1995. "Optimal pollution taxes and endogenous technological progress," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 69-85, May.
  16. Dowlatabadi, Hadi, 1998. "Sensitivity of climate change mitigation estimates to assumptions about technical change," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5-6), pages 473-493, December.
  17. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S43-S63, November.
  18. Orr, Lloyd, 1976. "Incentive for Innovation as the Basis for Effluent Charge Strategy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 441-47, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yoram Bauman & Myunghun Lee & Karl Seeley, 2008. "Does Technological Innovation Really Reduce Marginal Abatement Costs? Some Theory, Algebraic Evidence, and Policy Implications," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 507-527, August.
  2. Traber, Thure & Kemfert, Claudia, 2011. "Refunding ETS proceeds to spur the diffusion of renewable energies: An analysis based on the dynamic oligopolistic electricity market model EMELIE," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-41, January.
  3. Aldy, Joseph E. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Newell, Richard G. & Parry, Ian W.H. & Pizer, William A., 2009. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," Discussion Papers dp-08-16, Resources For the Future.
  4. Carlo Carraro & Barbara Buchner, 2004. "Economic and Environmental Effectiveness of a Technology-based Climate Protocol," Working Papers 2004.61, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Baker, Erin & Clarke, Leon & Shittu, Ekundayo, 2008. "Technical change and the marginal cost of abatement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2799-2816, November.
  6. Parry, Ian W.H., 2012. "Reforming the tax system to promote environmental objectives: An application to Mauritius," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 103-112.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G., 2008. "Environmental and technology policies for climate mitigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 142-162, March.
  8. Heinzel, Christoph & Winkler, Ralph, 2006. "Gradual versus structural technological change in the transition to a low-emission energy industry: How time-to-build and differing social and individual discount rates influence environmental and tec," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 09/06, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  9. Parry, Ian, 2002. "Adjusting Carbon Cost Analyses to Account for Prior Tax Distortions," Discussion Papers dp-02-47, Resources For the Future.
  10. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C., 2011. "Moving U.S. Climate Policy Forward: Are Carbon Taxes the Only Good Alternative?," Discussion Papers dp-11-02, Resources For the Future.
  11. Ian W.H. Parry, 2011. "Reforming the Tax System to Promote Environmental Objectives," IMF Working Papers 11/124, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Fischer, Carolyn, 2008. "Emissions pricing, spillovers, and public investment in environmentally friendly technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 487-502, March.
  13. Dagmar Nelissen & Till Requate, 2007. "Pollution-reducing and resource-saving technological progress," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 5-44.
  14. Apergis, Nicholas & Eleftheriou, Sofia & Payne, James E., 2013. "The relationship between international financial reporting standards, carbon emissions, and R&D expenditures: Evidence from European manufacturing firms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 57-66.

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