Linking induced technological change, and environmental regulation: Evidence from patenting in the U.S. auto industry
This article uses a carefully screened patent database in automobile emission control technologies and a detailed regulatory action analysis to examine firms’ innovation in response to U.S. technology-forcing auto emissions standards enacted between 1970 and 1998. The study finds that under the performance-based technology-forcing (PBTF) auto emissions regulations, both automakers and component suppliers innovated and introduced more advanced emission control technologies for automobile applications. The study also shows that stringent PBTF regulation temporarily induced domestic U.S. firms to become more innovative than foreign firms that operated in the local U.S. market during the early phase of the regulatory regime. Findings of this research strongly imply that government intervention in the form of technology-forcing regulation can drive firms to invest in technological innovation.
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