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The Role of Standards in Eco-innovation: Lessons for Policymakers

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  • Herman R. J. Vollebergh
  • Edwin van der Werf

Abstract

This article aims to help policymakers identify how standards can contribute to the effective and cost-efficient development and deployment of eco-innovations (innovations that reduce environmental impacts). To this end, we argue that the general perception among environmental economists that standards are a very simple form of command and control regulation is too limited. Environmental policy standards often allow for flexibility. Moreover, other types of standards are often relevant for induced innovation and diffusion. Our broad perspective enables us to identify some interesting and important economic aspects of standards, such as their contribution to the diffusion of technologies with network externalities and the extent to which they are substitutes or complements to (other) environmental policy instruments. Finally, we discuss conditions for the successful use of standards by governments to stimulate eco-innovation. (JEL: Q38, Q55, Q58)

Suggested Citation

  • Herman R. J. Vollebergh & Edwin van der Werf, 2014. "The Role of Standards in Eco-innovation: Lessons for Policymakers," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(2), pages 230-248.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:8:y:2014:i:2:p:230-248.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/reep/reu004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. René Kemp, 1997. "Environmental Policy and Technical Change," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1187.
    2. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894.
      • Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2000. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521660839.
    3. 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.
    4. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
    5. Helfand, Gloria E, 1991. "Standards versus Standards: The Effects of Different Pollution Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 622-634, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Srinivasan, Suchita, 2019. "The light at the end of the tunnel: Impact of policy on the global diffusion of fluorescent lamps," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 907-918.
    2. David Popp, 2019. "Environmental policy and innovation: a decade of research," CESifo Working Paper Series 7544, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Aalbers, Rob & Shestalova, Victoria & Kocsis, Viktória, 2013. "Innovation policy for directing technical change in the power sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1240-1250.
    4. Mare Sarr & Joëlle Noailly, 2017. "Innovation, Diffusion, Growth and the Environment: Taking Stock and Charting New Directions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 393-407, March.
    5. Kim, Yeong Jae & Brown, Marilyn, 2019. "Impact of domestic energy-efficiency policies on foreign innovation: The case of lighting technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 539-552.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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