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The Climate Policy Hold‐Up: Green Technologies, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Abatement Incentives of International Agreements

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  • Timo Goeschl
  • Grischa Perino

Abstract

The success of global climate policies over the coming decades depends on the diffusion of “green” technologies. Using a simple model, we highlight a conflict between international environmental agreements (IEAs) on emissions reductions and international systems of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on abatement technologies. When IPRs are strong and global, IEA signatories anticipate rent extraction by innovators. This hold‐up effect reduces abatement, potentially to levels below those of non‐signatories, and it reduces the number of signatories to self‐enforcing IEAs. We explore policy options that respect existing property rights, but avoid the strategic interaction between signatories to an IEA and innovators.

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  • Timo Goeschl & Grischa Perino, 2017. "The Climate Policy Hold‐Up: Green Technologies, Intellectual Property Rights, and the Abatement Incentives of International Agreements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 709-732, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:3:p:709-732
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12179
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    Cited by:

    1. Rubio, Santiago J., 2018. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements: Adaptation and Complementarity," ETA: Economic Theory and Applications 276179, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. Daniel Heyen, 2016. "Strategic Conflicts On The Horizon: R&D Incentives For Environmental Technologies," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(04), pages 1-27, November.
    3. Matthieu Glachant & Julie Ing & Jean Philippe Nicolai, 2017. "The Incentives for North-South Transfer of Climate-Mitigation Technologies with Trade in Polluting Goods," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 435-456, March.
    4. Hans Gersbach & Marie-Catherine Riekhof, 2017. "Technology Treaties and Climate Change," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 17/268, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    5. McEvoy, David M. & McGinty, Matthew, 2018. "Negotiating a uniform emissions tax in international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 217-231.
    6. Blasch, Julia & Boogen, Nina & Filippini, Massimo & Kumar, Nilkanth, 2017. "Explaining electricity demand and the role of energy and investment literacy on end-use efficiency of Swiss households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 89-102.
    7. Heyen, Daniel, 2016. "Strategic conflicts on the horizon: R&D incentives for environmental technologies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68104, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Haiyang Xia & Tijun Fan & Xiangyun Chang, 2019. "Emission Reduction Technology Licensing and Diffusion Under Command-and-Control Regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(2), pages 477-500, February.
    9. Hans Gersbach & Quirin Oberpriller & Martin Scheffel, 2019. "Double Free-Riding in Innovation and Abatement: A Rules Treaty Solution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 73(2), pages 449-483, June.

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