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Adopt or innovate: understanding technological responses to cap-and-trade

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  • Calel, Raphael

Abstract

One important motivation for creating cap-and-trade programs for carbon emissions is the expectation that they will stimulate much-needed low-carbon innovation. I construct a new panel of British firms to investigate this hypothesis, finding that the European carbon market has encouraged greater low-carbon patenting and R&D spending among regulated firms without necessarily driving short-term reductions in carbon intensity of output. This stands in contrast to past cap-and-trade programs, which have primarily spurred adoption of existing pollution control technologies, with little effect on innovation. I discuss how to reconcile these contrasting findings and implications for the future of carbon markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Calel, Raphael, 2020. "Adopt or innovate: understanding technological responses to cap-and-trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106257, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:106257
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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