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

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  • Parry, Ian

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Pizer, William

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Fischer, Carolyn

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-00-15-rev.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-00-15-rev

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Keywords: innovation; welfare; regulation; endogenous; technological; change; R&D;

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References

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  1. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Discounting the distant future: how much do uncertain rates increase valuations?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 52-71, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," Working Paper Series rwp00-002, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. Muradian, Roldan, 2001. "Ecological thresholds: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 7-24, July.
  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. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  14. Parry, Ian W. H., 1995. "Optimal pollution taxes and endogenous technological progress," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 69-85, May.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Fischer, Carolyn, 2004. "Emissions Pricing, Spillovers, and Public Investment in Environmentally Friendly Technologies," Discussion Papers dp-04-02, Resources For the Future.
  3. Parry, Ian W.H., 2011. "Reforming the Tax System to Promote Environmental Objectives: An Application to Mauritius," Discussion Papers dp-11-20, Resources For the Future.
  4. 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.
  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. Joseph E. Aldy & Alan J. Krupnick & Richard G. Newell & Ian W.H. Parry & William A. Pizer, 2009. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," NBER Working Papers 15022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carlo Carraro & Barbara Buchner, 2006. "Economic and Environmental Effectiveness of a Technology-based Climate Protocol," Working Papers 2006_12Classification-JEL, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

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