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Climate Policy under Technology Spillovers

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  • Rolf Golombek

    (Frisch Centre, Oslo, Norway)

  • Michael Hoel

    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Norway)

Abstract

Technological development is likely to play an important role in curbing growth in greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore important to incorporate factors influencing technological change in climate policy analyses. This paper studies climate policy when there are technology spillovers between countries, and there is no instrument that (directly) corrects for these externalities. The lack of an appropriate instrument reflects that R&D expenditures in a country are difficult to verify by other countries. We show that without an international agreement, the non-cooperative outcome will have too much emissions and too little R&D expenditures compared with the social optimum. While the non-cooperative equilibrium depends on whether countries use tradable quotas or carbon taxes as their domestic instruments for controlling emissions, all countries are better off in the tax case than in the quota case. Next we study two types of international climate agreements with full participation. One is a Kyoto type of agreement where each country is assigned a specific number of internationally tradable quotas. In the second type of agreement a common carbon tax should be used domestically in all countries. We show that none of the cases satisfy the conditions for the social optimum. Even if the total number of quotas is set so that the quota price is equal to the Pigovian level, R&D investments will be lower than what is socially optimal in the Kyoto case, whereas with a harmonized domestic carbon tax R&D expenditures could even be too high. Finally we examine the case in which there is an incomplete agreement, i.e. some countries have not signed the agreement. We demonstrate that there is virtually no difference between this case and the case of full cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.38.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.38

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Keywords: Climate policy; international environmental agreements; R&D; technology spillovers;

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References

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  1. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
  2. Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2002. "Cost-effective environmental policy: Implications of induced technological change," Discussion Papers 314, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Golombek, Rolf & Hoel, Michael, 2003. "Climate Policy under Technology Spillovers," Memorandum 22/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Buonanno, Paolo & Carraro, Carlo & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Galeotti, Marzio, 2000. "Emission Trading Restrictions with Endogenous Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 2514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Wolfgang Keller, 2000. "Geographic Localization of International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 7509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Loschel, Andreas, 2002. "Technological change in economic models of environmental policy: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 105-126, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael Hoel, 1993. "Harmonization of carbon taxes in international climate agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(3), pages 221-231, June.
  10. Buonanno, Paolo & Carraro, Carlo & Galeotti, Marzio, 2003. "Endogenous induced technical change and the costs of Kyoto," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-34, February.
  11. Hoel, Michael, 1992. "Carbon taxes : An international tax or harmonized domestic taxes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 400-406, April.
  12. Rasmussen, Tobias N., 2001. "CO2 abatement policy with learning-by-doing in renewable energy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 297-325, October.
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