IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Environmental innovation and industrial dynamics: the contributions of evolutionary economics

  • Vanessa OLTRA (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113)

The purpose of this article is to discuss the contributions of the evolutionary theory of innovation on the micro and meso dynamics of environmental innovations. We argue that the evolutionary literature on innovation, and more particularly on technological regimes, provides a relevant framework in order to analyse the various determinants of environmental innovations and the double externality problem in an industrial dynamics context. The article starts with an overview of the empirical literature on environmental innovations with a focus on their determinants and specificities. In section 3, we discuss the contributions of the evolutionary literature on technological regimes and argue that it can provide a relevant framework for a sectoral approach of environmental innovations. In section 4, we concentrate on the role of demand side dynamics and highlight the implications of technological competition models on the role of demand conditions in the diffusion of environmental technologies. Finally, section 5 is devoted to the implications of the evolutionary theory of innovation on the question of the transition towards more sustainable technological systems.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée in its series Cahiers du GREThA with number 2008-28.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2008-28
Contact details of provider: Postal: Avenue Léon Duguit, 33608 Pessac Cedex
Phone: +33 (0)
Fax: +33 (0)
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Frondel, Manuel & Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus, 2004. "End-of-Pipe or Cleaner Production? An Empirical Comparison of Environmental Innovation Decisions Across OECD Countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-82, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Vanessa Oltra & Maider Saint Jean, 2005. "The dynamics of environmental innovations: three stylised trajectories of clean technology," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 189-212.
  3. Franco Malerba & Richard Nelson & Luigi Orsenigo & Sidney Winter, 2007. "Demand, innovation, and the dynamics of market structure: The role of experimental users and diverse preferences," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 371-399, August.
  4. David Popp & Tamara Hafner & Nick Johnstone, 2007. "Policy vs. Consumer Pressure: Innovation and Diffusion of Alternative Bleaching Technologies in the Pulp Industry," NBER Working Papers 13439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Levinthal, Daniel A, 1998. "The Slow Pace of Rapid Technological Change: Gradualism and Punctuation in Technological Change," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 217-47, June.
  6. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
  7. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2006. "Examining the Factors Influencing Environmental Innovations," Working Papers 2006.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-81.
  9. Marcus Wagner, 2007. "The Link between Environmental Innovation, Patents, and Environmental Management," DRUID Working Papers 07-14, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  10. Rehfeld, Katharina-Maria & Rennings, Klaus & Ziegler, Andreas, 2007. "Integrated product policy and environmental product innovations: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 91-100, February.
  11. Jeroen van den Bergh & John Gowdy, 2000. "Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 37-57, September.
  12. Frenken, Koen & Saviotti, Paolo P. & Trommetter, Michel, 1999. "Variety and niche creation in aircraft, helicopters, motorcycles and microcomputers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 469-488, June.
  13. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Energy, Development, and the Environment: An Appraisal Three Decades After the "Limits to Growth" Debate," LEM Papers Series 2006/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  14. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
  15. Metcalfe, J S, 1995. "Technology Systems and Technology Policy in an Evolutionary Framework," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 25-46, February.
  16. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
  17. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1995. "Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 47-65, February.
  18. Utterback, James M. & Suarez, Fernando F., 1993. "Innovation, competition, and industry structure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, February.
  19. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2007. "Evolutionary Thinking in Environmental Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-018/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  20. Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "A policy approach to the environmental impacts of technological lock-in," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 717-742, July.
  21. Vanessa Oltra & Maider Saint Jean, 2005. "Environmental innovation and clean technology: an evolutionary framework," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(3), pages 153-172.
  22. Paul Windrum & Chris Birchenhall, 2005. "Structural change in the presence of network externalities: a co-evolutionary model of technological successions," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 123-148, January.
  23. Wander Jager & Marco A. Janssen, 2002. "Stimulating diffusion of green products," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 283-306.
  24. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
  25. Horbach, Jens, 2008. "Determinants of environmental innovation--New evidence from German panel data sources," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 163-173, February.
  26. Bruckner, E, et al, 1996. "Nonlinear Stochastic Effects of Substitution--An Evolutionary Approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, February.
  27. Rennings, Klaus, 2000. "Redefining innovation -- eco-innovation research and the contribution from ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 319-332, February.
  28. J. Stanley Metcalfe, 1992. "Variety, Structure and Change : an evolutionary perspective on the compétitive process," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 59(1), pages 46-61.
  29. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
  30. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1997. "Technological Regimes and Sectoral Patterns of Innovative Activities," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-117.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2008-28. 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: (Emmanuel Petit)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.