Environmental policy with upstream pollution abatement technology firms
This paper examines how the existence of an upstream abatement technology sector affects optimal environmental policy. We explore whether the policy should be especially stringent in order to spur a successful export industry based on abatement technology. Furthermore, we investigate if a stringent policy can be used to increase competition in the upstream sector. Our point of departure is a three-stage game between a government in a country with a polluting downstream industry, and a limited number of upstream firms supplying abatement technologies. The government moves first, and may use its environmental policy strategically to influence the behavior of the upstream technology firms. We find that an especially stringent environmental policy towards the polluting downstream sector may be well founded, as it increases competition between the technology suppliers, leading to lower abatement costs. However, to our surprise, an especially stringent environmental policy is not a particularly good industrial policy with respect to developing successful new export sectors based on abatement technology.
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