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Adopt or Innovate: Understanding Technological Responses to Cap-and-Trade

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  • Raphael Calel

Abstract

Environmental regulations have consistently been found to spur innovation in ‘clean’ technologies, with one significant exception. Past cap-and-trade programs have encouraged adoption of existing pollution control technologies, but had little effect on innovation. Several explanations have been offered, including secondary market failures and a lack of polluter sophistication. In this paper I argue that it likely has more to do with the state of the technologies. Using a newly constructed panel of British companies, I show that the European carbon market - the world’s largest cap-and-trade program - has, contrary to past experience, encouraged innovation rather than adoption. I discuss how these contrasting findings can be reconciled, and the implications for planned reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Calel, 2018. "Adopt or Innovate: Understanding Technological Responses to Cap-and-Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 6847, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6847
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    Cited by:

    1. David Popp, 2019. "Environmental policy and innovation: a decade of research," CESifo Working Paper Series 7544, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EU emissions trading system; induced innovation; directed technological change; technology diffusion;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • 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

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