IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Determinants of technology transfer through the CDM: a within-country analysis for China


  • Matthias Weitzel
  • Wan-Hsin Liu
  • Andrea Vaona


Technology transfer (TT) is not mandatory for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, yet proponents of CDM argue that TT in CDM can bring new technologies to developing countries and thus not only reduce emissions but also foster development. We review the quantitative literature on determinants of TT in CDM and estimate determinants for CDM projects in China. China is by far the largest host country of CDM projects and it is therefore crucial to understand the factors that drive TT there. To gain better interpretation, we focus on heterogeneity within a single country and results can thus be linked to specific policies of the country. Our probit estimations confirm previous international cross-country studies, indicating that larger projects and more advanced technologies are more likely to involve TT. In addition, we find evidence that agglomeration effects are more pronounced at the province level rather than larger regions. We also find a positive effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on TT, and academic research and development (R&D) is complementary to TT. Policy relevance Technology transfer (TT) is a goal of Chinese CDM legislation, but it is not a prerequisite for project approval. Our estimations show the project specific, technological and region-specific features that encourage more TT among CDM projects. Some variables analysed such as R&D spending and FDI (both are found to have positive effects on TT) can be, to some extent, influenced by the policy-makers. Moreover, we find some evidence for the presence of negative agglomeration effects on the provincial level: the likelihood of TT is decreasing in the number of previous projects operating in the same technology and province. This finding needs to be interpreted with great caution. It may suggest the existence of a learning externality, which could serve as a justification for policy intervention. Any policy intervention requires however careful analysis of potential positive or negative externalities resulting from the agglomeration of CDM projects and a comparison of possible benefits with the costs of TT.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Weitzel & Wan-Hsin Liu & Andrea Vaona, 2015. "Determinants of technology transfer through the CDM: a within-country analysis for China," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 626-646, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:15:y:2015:i:5:p:626-646
    DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2014.954095

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Du, Yimeng & Takeuchi, Kenji, 2019. "Can climate mitigation help the poor? Measuring impacts of the CDM in rural China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 178-197.
    2. Gandenberger, Carsten, 2015. "Theoretical perspectives on the international transfer and diffusion of climate technologies," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S12/2015, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    3. Kirchherr, Julian & Matthews, Nathanial, 2018. "Technology transfer in the hydropower industry: An analysis of Chinese dam developers’ undertakings in Europe and Latin America," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 546-558.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:tcpoxx:v:15:y:2015:i:5:p:626-646. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.