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Pollution Accumulation and Firm Incentives to Accelerate Technological Change Under Uncertain Private Benefits

  • Cesare Dosi

    ()

  • Michele Moretto

The paper explores the relationships between the design of public incentives and the policy-maker's desired timing of abandonment of a polluting technology, when this requires an irreversible private investment and the firm faces uncertain appropriable benefits from the technological change. Two regulatory approaches are examined. Firstly, we consider the quite common one of lowering the private investment cost, through a subsidy, in order to bridge the gap between the private and the policy-maker's desired timing of environmental innovation. Secondly, we consider a policy scenario where the regulator, instead of simply lowering the investment's rental price, also stimulates abandonment of the polluting technology by reducing – through appropriate announcements – the uncertainty surrounding the technological switch's private profitability. We then compare the two approaches and show the latter's benefits, in terms of the policy's effectiveness and/or budgetary savings. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1026426932710
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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 285-300

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:285-300
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  1. Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
  2. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  3. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1991. "Environmental Innovation Policy and International Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Leahy, John V, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-33, November.
  5. Olsen, Trond E. & Stensland, Gunnar, 1992. "On optimal timing of investment when cost components are additive and follow geometric diffusions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 39-51, January.
  6. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  7. Fisher, Anthony C & Hanemann, W Michael, 1990. " Information and the Dynamics of Environmental Protection: The Concept of the Critical Period," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(3), pages 399-414.
  8. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
  9. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
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