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Strategic Environmental Policy and the Accumulation of Knowledge

Recent political discussions about the possible advantages of first-mover behaviour in terms of environmental policy again called attention to the well-established controversy about the effects of environmental regulation on international competitiveness. Conventional theory claims that the trade-off between regulation and competitiveness will be negative while the revisionist view, also known as the Porter Hypothesis, argues for the opposite. Several previous attempts that analysed this quarrel by means of strategic trade game settings indeed support the former claim and conclude that, to increase a firm’s competitiveness, ecological dumping is the most likely outcome in a Cournot duopoly configuration. However, these results were derived from one period games in which so-called innovation offsets are unlikely to occur. The present paper considers a two-period model that includes an intertemporally growing firm-level knowledge capital. In doing so the accumulation of knowledge is modelled in a unilateral and a bilateral variant. It is shown that for both scenarios in period 1 the domestic government will set a higher emission tax rate compared to its foreign counterpart. Furthermore, we identify conditions for which the domestic tax rate will be set above the Pigouvian level in period 1 in both model variants.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 301.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0301
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  1. Jan Fagerberg, 1996. "Technology and Competitiveness," Working Papers Archives 1996548, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  2. Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
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  8. Karen Palmer & Wallace E. Oates & Paul R. Portney, 1995. "Tightening Environmental Standards: The Benefit-Cost or the No-Cost Paradigm?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 119-132, Fall.
  9. Jung, Chulho & Krutilla, Kerry & Boyd, Roy, 1996. "Incentives for Advanced Pollution Abatement Technology at the Industry Level: An Evaluation of Policy Alternatives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 95-111, January.
  10. Robert Ayres, 1994. "On economic disequilibrium and free lunch," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(5), pages 435-454, October.
  11. Eberhard Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2002. "Strategic Environmental Policy, Clean Technologies and the Learning Curve," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(2), pages 149-166, October.
  12. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  13. Simpson, R. David & Bradford, Robert III, 1996. "Taxing Variable Cost: Environmental Regulation as Industrial Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 282-300, May.
  14. Parry, Ian & Pizer, William & Fischer, Carolyn, 1998. "Instrument Choice for Environmental Protection When Technological Innovation is Endogenous," Discussion Papers dp-99-04, Resources For the Future.
  15. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  16. Rauscher, Michael, 1994. "On Ecological Dumping," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 822-40, Supplemen.
  17. Magat, Wesley A., 1978. "Pollution control and technological advance: A dynamic model of the firm," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
  18. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Mody, Ashoka, 1996. "Innovation and the international diffusion of environmentally responsive technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-571, June.
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