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

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  • Klaus Rennings
  • Christian Rammer

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Rennings & Christian Rammer, 2011. "The Impact of Regulation-Driven Environmental Innovation on Innovation Success and Firm Performance," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 255-283.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:3:p:255-283
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2011.561027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Christian Rammer & Dirk Czarnitzki & Alfred Spielkamp, 2009. "Innovation success of non-R&D-performers: substituting technology by management in SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 35-58, June.
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Horbach, Jens, 2008. "Determinants of environmental innovation--New evidence from German panel data sources," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 163-173, February.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental innovation; environmental regulation; innovation; Porter hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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