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Climate Policy under Technology Spillovers

Author

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  • Rolf Golombek

    (Frisch Centre, Oslo, Norway)

  • Michael Hoel

    (Department of Economics, University of Oslo, Norway)

Abstract

Technological development is likely to play an important role in curbing growth in greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore important to incorporate factors influencing technological change in climate policy analyses. This paper studies climate policy when there are technology spillovers between countries, and there is no instrument that (directly) corrects for these externalities. The lack of an appropriate instrument reflects that R&D expenditures in a country are difficult to verify by other countries. We show that without an international agreement, the non-cooperative outcome will have too much emissions and too little R&D expenditures compared with the social optimum. While the non-cooperative equilibrium depends on whether countries use tradable quotas or carbon taxes as their domestic instruments for controlling emissions, all countries are better off in the tax case than in the quota case. Next we study two types of international climate agreements with full participation. One is a Kyoto type of agreement where each country is assigned a specific number of internationally tradable quotas. In the second type of agreement a common carbon tax should be used domestically in all countries. We show that none of the cases satisfy the conditions for the social optimum. Even if the total number of quotas is set so that the quota price is equal to the Pigovian level, R&D investments will be lower than what is socially optimal in the Kyoto case, whereas with a harmonized domestic carbon tax R&D expenditures could even be too high. Finally we examine the case in which there is an incomplete agreement, i.e. some countries have not signed the agreement. We demonstrate that there is virtually no difference between this case and the case of full cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rolf Golombek & Michael Hoel, 2003. "Climate Policy under Technology Spillovers," Working Papers 2003.38, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.38
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Michael Hoel, 1993. "Harmonization of carbon taxes in international climate agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(3), pages 221-231, June.
    10. Hoel, Michael, 1992. "Carbon taxes : An international tax or harmonized domestic taxes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 400-406, April.
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    12. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
    13. Golombek, R. & Hagem, C. & Hoel, M., 1993. "The Disign of a Carbon Tax in an Incomplete International Climate Agreement," Memorandum 01/1993, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthieu Glachant & Yann Ménière, 2011. "Project Mechanisms and Technology Diffusion in Climate Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(3), pages 405-423, July.
    2. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendah, 2008. "Linking Environmental and Innovation Policy," Working Papers 2008.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Michael Hoel & Rolf Golombek, 2004. "Climate Agreements and Technology Policy," Working Papers 2004.90, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Strand, Jon & Miller, Sebastian & Siddiqui, Sauleh, 2011. "Infrastructure investments under uncertainty with the possibility of retrofit : theory and simulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5516, The World Bank.
    5. Bård Harstad, 2016. "The Dynamics Of Climate Agreements," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 719-752, June.
    6. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl, 2009. "Optimal Timing of Climate Change Policy: Interaction Between Carbon Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 369-390, July.
    7. Miyuki Nagashima & Rob Dellink, 2008. "Technology spillovers and stability of international climate coalitions," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 343-365, December.
    8. Rolf Golombek & Michael Hoel, 2005. "Climate Policy under Technology Spillovers," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 201-227, June.
    9. Torstein Bye & Annegrete Bruvoll, 2008. "Multiple instruments to change energy behaviour: The emperor's new clothes?," Discussion Papers 549, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    10. Belgodere, Antoine & Prunetti, Dominique, 2007. "International coordination over emissions and R&D expenditures: What does oil scarcity change?," MPRA Paper 28164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2007. "Optimal Timing of Environmental Policy. Interaction between Environmental Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Discussion Papers 493, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    12. Enrica De Cian, 2006. "International Technology Spillovers in Climate-Economy Models: Two Possible Approaches," Working Papers 2006.141, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate policy; international environmental agreements; R&D; technology spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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