The determinants of EST adoption by manufacturing plants in developing countries
This article reports on the findings of a survey undertaken in late 2001-early 2002 on the determinants of environmentally sound technology (EST) adoption by 98 plants in eight developing countries. We review the literature on technology diffusion and technology capabilities as well as empirical studies with an exclusive focus on developing countries that explicitly addressed environmental performance or EST adoption to formulate our heuristic model that guided our investigation. We examine in some detail the determinants of both prevention and abatement technologies, which has seldom been investigated, in developing countries. In full recognition of literature that cites a host of reasons that cause plants to adopt EST we take into account both contextual and plant-specific factors. We use an ordered choice model that revealed that plant-specific factors assume a pre-dominant role in explaining the adoption of higher order of complexity EST. Plant-specific factors, specifically environmental commitment, technological capabilities, and ownership, and market factors, specifically foreign involvement and water and energy price perception, matter in determining the type of technological response and thus in explaining the adoption of higher-order complexity EST. Two governmental factors, regulatory implementation strategy and international donor assistance, also play a role in the adoption of EST. However, civil society, in particular community pressure that has been identified as an important determinant of environmental performance, does not play a role because of the way the dependent variable is constructed to capture higher orders of technological complexity.
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