IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Environmental policy vs. public pressure: Innovation and diffusion of alternative bleaching technologies in the pulp industry

  • Popp, David
  • Hafner, Tamara
  • Johnstone, Nick

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, concern over dioxin in both paper products and wastewater led to the development of techniques that reduced the use of chlorine in the pulp industry. Both regulatory and consumer pressure motivated this change. Unlike previous studies, we use patent data to examine the evolution of two competing bleaching technologies in five major paper-producing countries, both of which reduce the use of chlorine in the pulping process. The use of patent data allows us to focus on the invention stage. However, adoption data are also presented, and by the end of the 1990s, nearly all pulp production in these countries used one of these technologies. While previous studies emphasize the importance of regulation for inducing innovation, here we find substantial innovation occurring before regulations were in place. Instead, pressure from consumers and the public at large to reduce the chlorine content of paper drove invention, prior to the introduction of environmental policies in any of the countries concerned.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1253-1268

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:9:p:1253-1268
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  2. René Kemp, 1998. "The Diffusion of Biological Waste-Water Treatment Plants in the Dutch Food and Beverage Industry," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 113-136, July.
  3. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1997. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," NBER Working Papers 6036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David Popp, 2003. "Pollution control innovations and the Clean Air Act of 1990," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 641-660.
  6. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  7. Kerr, Suzi & Newell, Richard, 2001. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Discussion Papers dp-01-14, Resources For the Future.
  8. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Mody, Ashoka, 1996. "Innovation and the international diffusion of environmentally responsive technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-571, June.
  9. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Reinstaller, Andreas, 2005. "Policy entrepreneurship in the co-evolution of institutions, preferences, and technology: Comparing the diffusion of totally chlorine free pulp bleaching technologies in the US and Sweden," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1366-1384, November.
  11. Popp, David, 2006. "International innovation and diffusion of air pollution control technologies: the effects of NOX and SO2 regulation in the US, Japan, and Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 46-71, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:9:p:1253-1268. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.