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Optimal Firm Behavior under Environmental Constraints

  • Raouf Boucekkine
  • Natali Hritonenko
  • Yuri Yatsenko

The paper examines the Porter and induced-innovation hypotheses in a firm model where: (i) the firm has a vintage capital technology with two complementary factors, energy and capital ; (ii) scrapping is endogenous; (iii) technological progress is energy-saving and endogenous through purposive R&D investment; (iv) the innovation rate increases with R&D investment and decreases with complexity; (v) the firm is subject to emission quotas which put an upper bound on its energy consumption at any date; (vi) energy and capital prices are exogenous. Balanced growth paths are first characterized, and a comparative static analysis is performed to study a kind of long-term Porter and induced-innovation hypotheses. In particular, it is shown that tighter emission quotas do not prevent firms to grow in the long-run, thanks to endogenous innovation, but they have an inverse effect on the growth rate of profits. Some short-term dynamics are also produced, particularly, to analyze the role of initial conditions and energy prices in optimal firm behaviour subject to environmental regulation. Among numerous results, we show that (i) firms which are historically “small” polluters find it optimal to massively pollute in the short run: during the transition, new and clean machines will co-exist with old and dirty machines in the productive sectors, implying an unambiguously dirty transition; (ii) higher energy prices induce a shorter lifetime for capital goods but they depress investment in both new capital and R&D, featuring a kind of reverse Hicksian mechanism.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2008_11.

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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2008_11
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  1. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & David, DE LA CROIX & Omar, LICANDRO, 2006. "Vintage Capital," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006014, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  2. Richard G. Newell & Adam B. Jaffe & Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis And Energy-Saving Technological Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 941-975, August.
  3. Hart, Rob, 2004. "Growth, environment and innovation--a model with production vintages and environmentally oriented research," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1078-1098, November.
  4. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Kort, P. & Hartl, R.F. & Veliov, V.M. & Feichtinger, G., 2005. "Capital accumulation under technological progress and learning : a vintage capital approach," Other publications TiSEM 52a6c1fe-8d4a-47bf-ada4-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. Malcomson, James M., 1975. "Replacement and the rental value of capital equipment subject to obsolescence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 24-41, February.
  7. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscaico, Domenico, 1994. "Environmental policy reconsidered: The role of technological innovation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 545-554, April.
  8. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & RUIZ-TAMARIT, Ramon, 2004. "Special functions for the study of economic dynamics: The case of the Lucas-Uzawa model," CORE Discussion Papers 2004084, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Xepapadeas, A. & de Zeeuw, A.J., 1999. "Environmental policy and competitiveness : The Porter hypothesis and the composition of capital," Other publications TiSEM cfb3ecf9-1a3c-4325-ac1d-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Boucekkine, R. & Germain, M. & Licandro, O., . "Replacement echoes in the vintage capital growth model," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1275, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Feichtinger, Gustav & Hartl, Richard F. & Kort, Peter M. & Veliov, Vladimir M., 2005. "Environmental policy, the porter hypothesis and the composition of capital: Effects of learning and technological progress," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 434-446, September.
  12. Chimeli, Ariaster B. & Braden, John B., 2005. "Total factor productivity and the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 366-380, March.
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