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Innovation and Climate Change Policy

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  • Joshua S. Gans

Abstract

This paper examines whether climate change policies will induce innovation in environmentally friendly technologies. The model demonstrates that a tighter emissions cap will reduce the scale of fossil fuel usage and that this will diminish incentives to improve fossil fuel efficiencies. In addition, such policies may stimulate the relative demand for innovations that improve the efficiency of alternative energy but carbon scarcity may diminish innovation incentives overall. Only for technologies that directly abate carbon pollution will there be an unambiguously positive impact on innovation. These results have implications for climate change targets and the design of climate change policy. (JEL O31, Q54, Q55, Q58)

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua S. Gans, 2012. "Innovation and Climate Change Policy," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 125-145, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:125-45
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.4.125
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, Lea Nicita, 2009. "How Does Climate Policy Affect Technical Change? An Analysis of the Direction and Pace of Technical Progress in a Climate-Economy Model," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
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    5. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hémous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-51.
    6. Smulders, Sjak & de Nooij, Michiel, 2003. "The impact of energy conservation on technology and economic growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-79, February.
    7. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Matthieu Glachant & Ivan Haščič & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2011. "Invention and Transfer of Climate Change--Mitigation Technologies: A Global Analysis," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 109-130, Winter.
    8. Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2008. "Modeling endogenous technological change for climate policy analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2734-2753, November.
    9. Matthieu Glachant & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Ivan Hascic & Nick Johnstone & Yann Ménière, 2009. "Invention and Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies on a Global Scale: A Study Drawing on Patent Data," Working Papers 2009.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Daron Acemoglu, 2010. "When Does Labor Scarcity Encourage Innovation?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1037-1078.
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    15. David Popp, 2002. "Induced Innovation and Energy Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 160-180, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. George van Leeuwen & Pierre Mohnen, 2017. "Revisiting the Porter hypothesis: an empirical analysis of Green innovation for the Netherlands," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1-2), pages 63-77, February.
    2. Daubanes, Julien & Grimaud, André & Rougé, Luc, 2012. "Green Paradox and Directed Technical Change: The Effects of Subsidies to Clean R&D," LERNA Working Papers 12.20.377, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    3. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:5:p:939-955 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lazkano, Itziar & Pham, Linh, 2016. "Do Fossil fuel Taxes Promote Innovation in Renewable Electricity Generation?," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:151-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Philippe Aghion & Antoine Dechezleprêtre & David Hémous & Ralf Martin & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(1), pages 1-51.
    7. Lucas Bretschger & Lin Zhang, 2014. "Going beyond tradition: Carbon policy in a high-growth economy: The case of China," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 14/201, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    8. Shiell, Leslie & Lyssenko, Nikita, 2014. "Climate policy and induced R&D: How great is the effect?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 279-294.
    9. L. Lambertini, 2014. "On the Interplay between Resource Extraction and Polluting Emissions in Oligopoly," Working Papers wp976, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    10. Casey, Gregory, 2017. "Energy Efficiency and Directed Technical Change: Implications for Climate Change Mitigation," MPRA Paper 76416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Bretschger, Lucas & Zhang, Lin, 2017. "Carbon policy in a high-growth economy: The case of China," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-19.
    12. Baccianti, Claudio & Schenker, Oliver, 2015. "Report on the dynamic efficiency of trade-related climate policy instruments," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 148927.
    13. Lazkano, Itziar & Nøstbakken, Linda & Pelli, Martino, 2017. "From fossil fuels to renewables: The role of electricity storage," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 113-129.
    14. van den Bijgaart, Inge, 2016. "Essays in environmental economics and policy," Other publications TiSEM 298bee2a-cb08-4173-9fe1-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    15. Winter, Ralph A., 2014. "Innovation and the dynamics of global warming," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 124-140.
    16. Marisa Beck, Randall Wigle, 2014. "Carbon Revenue: Recycling versus Technological Incentives," LCERPA Working Papers 0079, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 13 Jan 2014.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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