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Green Paradox and Directed Technical Change: The Effects of Subsidies to Clean R&D

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  • Daubanes, Julien

    (CER-ETH)

  • Grimaud, André

    (TSE,IDEI,LERNA)

  • Rougé, Luc

    (TBS)

Abstract

The "green paradox" literature points out that environmental policies which are anticipated to become gradually more stringent over time may induce a more rapid extraction of fossil fuels, thus having a detrimental effect to the environment. The manifestation of such phenomena has been extensively studied in the case of taxes directly applied to the extraction of a polluting non-renewable resource and of subsidies applied to its non-polluting substitutes. This paper examines the effects of subsidies to "clean" R&D activities, aimed to improve the productivity of non-polluting substitutes. We borrow standard assumptions from the directed-technical-change literature to take a full account of the private incentives to perform R&D and of the patterns of complementarity/substitutability between dirty resource and clean non-resource sectors. We show that a gradual increase in relative subsidies to clean R&D activities does not have the adverse green paradox effect, which contradicts an earlier made conjecture. Instead, the presence of several R&D sectors implies arbitrages which give rise to other quite paradoxical results. However substitutable or complementary sectors are, and whatever the induced technological bias is, clean-R&D-support policies always enhance the long-run productivity of the resource and thus result in a less rapid extraction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LERNA, University of Toulouse in its series LERNA Working Papers with number 12.20.377.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:26536

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  1. Grimaud, André & Lafforgue, Gilles & Magné, Bertrand, 2008. "Climate Change Mitigation Options and Directed Technical Change: A Decentralized Equilibrium Analysis," IDEI Working Papers 510, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 2009.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezlepretre & David Hemous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Carbon taxes, path dependency and directed technical change: evidence from the auto industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48936, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Reyer Gerlagh, 2010. "Too Much Oil," Working Papers 2010.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas & Ngo Van Long, 2010. "Biofuels Subsidies and the Green Paradox," CESifo Working Paper Series 2960, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change And Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089, November.
  6. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  7. Joshua S. Gans, 2012. "Innovation and Climate Change Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 125-45, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Grimaud, André & Rougé, Luc, 2007. "Environment, Directed Technical Change and Economic Policy," IDEI Working Papers 384, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  10. Quentin Grafton, R. & Kompas, Tom & Van Long, Ngo, 2012. "Substitution between biofuels and fossil fuels: Is there a green paradox?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 328-341.
  11. Rick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is There Really a Green Paradox?," OxCarre Working Papers 035, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Di Maria, Corrado & Valente, Simone, 2006. "The Direction of Technical Change in Capital-Resource Economies," MPRA Paper 1040, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Cozzi, Guido & Giordani, Paolo E. & Zamparelli, Luca, 2007. "The refoundation of the symmetric equilibrium in Schumpeterian growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 788-797, September.
  14. Sjak Smulders & Corrado Di Maria, 2012. "The Cost of Environmental Policy under Induced Technical Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 3886, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2008. "Public policies against global warming: A supply side approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19638, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  16. Gaudet, Gérard & Lasserre, Pierre, 1990. "Dynamiques comparées des effets de la taxation minière," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 66(4), pages 467-497, décembre.
  17. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is there really a Green Paradox?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-020/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Aug 2012.
  18. Hart, Rob, 2004. "Growth, environment and innovation--a model with production vintages and environmentally oriented research," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1078-1098, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Grimaud, André & Neubauer, Mauricio & Rougé, Luc, 2013. "Politiques de R&D, Taxe Carbone et Paradoxe Vert," IDEI Working Papers 806, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2013. "Global Warming and the Green Paradox," OxCarre Working Papers 116, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

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