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Innovation in the Green Economy: An Extension of the Regional Innovation System Model?


  • Karen Chapple

    (University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA,

  • Cynthia Kroll

    (University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA)

  • T. William Lester

    (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)

  • Sergio Montero

    (University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA)


Policy makers increasingly look to green innovation as a source of job creation. Using the case of California, we argue that green innovation complicates traditional models of innovation and its role in economic development. This study uses secondary source data and a survey of 650 green and traditional businesses to define the green economy, identify innovation of products and services, and link innovation to sectoral and regional growth. The authors find that the type of innovation and its role varies widely by sector. The most environmentally challenged firms are among the most likely to innovate new processes, whereas new green innovative companies are more likely to respond to local and regional markets. Innovation does not necessarily foster growth. It is a boost to traditional firms, but emerging green firms may need additional tools and the support of local networks to transform new ideas and products to new markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Chapple & Cynthia Kroll & T. William Lester & Sergio Montero, 2011. "Innovation in the Green Economy: An Extension of the Regional Innovation System Model?," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(1), pages 5-25, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:1:p:5-25

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:614-623 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Yi, Hongtao, 2013. "Clean energy policies and green jobs: An evaluation of green jobs in U.S. metropolitan areas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 644-652.
    3. repec:kap:netspa:v:17:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11067-016-9325-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Diana Mihaela Pociovălișteanu & Isabel Novo-Corti & Mirela Ionela Aceleanu & Andreea Claudia Șerban & Eugenia Grecu, 2015. "Employment Policies for a Green Economy at the European Union Level," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-20, July.
    5. Sarah J. Tayouga & Sara A. Gagné, 2016. "The Socio-Ecological Factors that Influence the Adoption of Green Infrastructure," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-17, December.
    6. Zhang, Jing & Liang, Xiong-jian, 2012. "Promoting green ICT in China: A framework based on innovation system approaches," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 997-1013.
    7. Marra, Alessandro & Antonelli, Paola & Dell’Anna, Luca & Pozzi, Cesare, 2015. "A network analysis using metadata to investigate innovation in clean-tech – Implications for energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 17-26.
    8. Gliedt, Travis & Hoicka, Christina E., 2015. "Energy upgrades as financial or strategic investment? Energy Star property owners and managers improving building energy performance," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 430-443.
    9. Mattes, Jannika & Huber, Andreas & Koehrsen, Jens, 2015. "Energy transitions in small-scale regions – What we can learn from a regional innovation systems perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 255-264.


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