Environmental spillover effects on firm productivity and efficiency: An analysis of agri-food business in Southeast Spain
Spillover effects are treated as the influence of knowledge and innovation diffusion on an economic activity, but their analysis related to environmental practices within firms is still quite scarce. This study investigates the effect of environmental practices and related spillovers on productivity and efficiency in agri-food firms located in Southeast Spain. The low investment in research and development actions in comparison with the industrial sector, together with the relatively recent application of environmental requirements and the heterogeneity of environmental controls within firms have led to important changes in the organisation and management of their productive activity. These features are especially related to the implications that location and clustering factors have on environmental knowledge and innovation diffusion. Taking environmental management practices as knowledge of capital, we propose a specific analysis that evaluates the impacts of both environmental investment and spillover on the production function. The results indicate the relationship between productivity improvement and environmental practices, also showing the presence of positive spillovers. In a second-stage analysis, the incidence of environmental variables on the individual technical efficiency of firms is also determined. On the whole, the empirical analysis provides evidence of the links between environmental practices spillovers and economic performance.
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