IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Knowledge spillovers from clean and dirty technologies: a patent citation analysis


  • Antoine Dechezleprêtre
  • Ralf Martin
  • Myra Mohnen


This report is co-authored by Antoine Dechezleprêtre , Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics; and  Myra Mohnen, University College London. How much should governments subsidize the development of new clean technologies? We use patent citation data to investigate the relative intensity of knowledge spillovers in clean and dirty technologies in four technological fields: energy production, automobiles, fuel and lighting. We find that clean patents receive on average 43% more citations than dirty patents. We also look at indirect spillovers using Google’s Page Rank applied to patent data. This suggests that clean patents are also cited by more prominent patents. These results hold for all four technological areas. Two factors are shown to explain the clean superiority: clean technologies have more general applications, and they are radically new compared to more incremental dirty innovation. Knowledge spillovers from clean technologies are comparable in scale to those observed in the IT sector. Our results mean that stronger public support for clean R&D is warranted. They also suggest that green policies might be able to boost economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Ralf Martin & Myra Mohnen, "undated". "Knowledge spillovers from clean and dirty technologies: a patent citation analysis," SIMPATIC Working Papers 954, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:simpap:954

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


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

    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:renvpo:v:11:y:2017:i:2:p:183-206. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fankhauser, Samuel & Jotzo, Frank, 2017. "Economic growth and development with low-carbon energy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86850, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    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:bre:simpap:954. 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: (SIMPATIC project). 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.