Climate policy and innovation in the absence of commitment
AbstractIt is well-recognized that new technology is a crucial part of any solution to the problem of climate change. But since investments in research and development take time to mature, price and quantity instruments, i.e., carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, run into a commitment problem. We assume that the government cannot commit to the level of a policy instrument in advance, but sets the level to be optimal ex-post. Under these assumptions, we show that when the supply curve of dirty (emission-producing) energy is flat, then an emissions tax is ineffective in promoting R & D into green (emission-free) energy while an emissions quota (i.e., cap and trade) can be effective. A subsidy to R & D is welfare-reducing. More realistically, when the supply curve of dirty energy is upward-sloping, then both tax and quota regimes can be effective in promoting R & D into emission-free technology. In this case, a tax generally induces more R & D than a quota. When the supply curve is sufficiently steep compared to the demand curve, a subsidy to R & D can expand the range of parameter values under which R & D occurs and this can be welfare-improving. If there is sufficient uncertainty about whether a climate policy will be adopted ex-post, then subsidizing R & D is an even more attractive policy option since a welfare-improving subsidy to R & D exists under a wider range of circumstances.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 10-09.
Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-03-28 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-03-28 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-INO-2012-03-28 (Innovation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marin, A., 1978. "The choice of efficient pollution policies: Technology and economics in the control of sulphur dioxide," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 44-62, March.
- Parry, Ian & Pizer, William & Fischer, Carolyn, 1998.
"Instrument Choice for Environmental Protection When Technological Innovation is Endogenous,"
dp-99-04, Resources For the Future.
- 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.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2011.
"The Environment and Directed Technical Change,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2010. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," Working Papers 2010.93, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2009. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 15451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2010. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," Seminar Papers 762, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Requate, Till, 2005. "Dynamic incentives by environmental policy instruments--a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 175-195, August.
- Charles D. Kolstad, 2010.
"Regulatory Choice with Pollution and Innovation,"
NBER Working Papers
16303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- V. Denicolo, 1997.
"Pollution-Reducing Innovations Under Taxes or Permits,"
281, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
- Denicolo, Vincenzo, 1999. "Pollution-Reducing Innovations under Taxes or Permits," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 184-99, January.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamprasad M. Pujar).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.