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The Impact of Regulation-Driven Environmental Innovation on Innovation Success and Firm Performance

  • Klaus Rennings
  • Christian Rammer

The impact of environmental innovations on firm performance is ambiguous. On the one hand, regulatory-driven environmental innovation may impose additional costs to firms and lower their profits. On the other hand, eco-innovators could profit from lower uncertainty in innovation due to regulatory standards and demand-generating effects of regulation. In this paper we analyse (a) whether regulation-driven environmental innovation generates similar innovation success compared to other types of product and process innovation, and (b) whether regulation-driven environmental innovation increases or decreases firm success (as measured by return on sales). Using firm data from the German innovation survey, we find that both product and process innovations driven by environmental regulation generate similar success in terms of sales with new products and cost savings as other innovations do. However, we find different effects when looking at the field of environmental regulation that triggered innovations. Regulations in favour of sustainable mobility contribute to higher sales with market novelties while regulations in the field of water management lower this type of innovation success. With regard to a firm's price-cost margin, new processes implemented in order to comply with environmental regulation requirements lower profitability, indicating higher costs for this type of innovation which cannot be passed on through prices. Higher profit margins can be observed for firms with innovations triggered by regulations on recycling and waste management as well as on resource efficiency.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 255-283

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Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:3:p:255-283
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. Klaus Rennings & Christian Rammer, 2009. "Increasing Energy and Resource Efficiency through Innovation: An Explorative Analysis Using Innovation Survey Data," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(5), pages 442-459, December.
  3. Frondel, Manuel & Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus, 2004. "End-of-Pipe or Cleaner Production? An Empirical Comparison of Environmental Innovation Decisions Across OECD Countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-82, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Spielkamp, Alfred & Czarnitzki, Dirk & Rammer, Christian, 2008. "Innovation Success of Non-R&D-Performers: Substituting Technology by Management in SMEs," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-092, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Rehfeld, Katharina-Maria & Rennings, Klaus & Ziegler, Andreas, 2007. "Integrated product policy and environmental product innovations: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 91-100, February.
  6. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
  7. Horbach, Jens, 2008. "Determinants of environmental innovation--New evidence from German panel data sources," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 163-173, February.
  8. Beise, Marian & Rennings, Klaus, 2005. "Lead markets and regulation: a framework for analyzing the international diffusion of environmental innovations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 5-17, January.
  9. Brunnermeier, Smita B. & Cohen, Mark A., 2003. "Determinants of environmental innovation in US manufacturing industries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 278-293, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Beise, Marian & Cleff, Thomas, 2004. "Assessing the lead market potential of countries for innovation projects," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 453-477.
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