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Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship

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  • Michael E. Porter
  • Claas van der Linde

Abstract

Accepting a fixed trade-off between environmental regulation and competitiveness unnecessarily raises costs and slows down environmental progress. Studies finding high environmental compliance costs have traditionally focused on static cost impacts, ignoring any offsetting productivity benefits from innovation. They typically overestimated compliance costs, neglected innovation offsets, and disregarded the affected industry's initial competitiveness. Rather than simply adding to cost, properly crafted environmental standards can trigger innovation offsets, allowing companies to improve their resource productivity. Shifting the debate from pollution control to pollution prevention was a step forward. It is now necessary to make the next step and focus on resource productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael E. Porter & Claas van der Linde, 1995. "Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 97-118, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:9:y:1995:i:4:p:97-118
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.4.97
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.4.97
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dale W. Jorgenson & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 1990. "Environmental Regulation and U.S. Economic Growth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(2), pages 314-340, Summer.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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