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Technology diffusion, abatement cost, and transboundary pollution


  • Geoffrey Heal

    () (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University)

  • Nori Tarui

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)


This paper studies countries’ incentives to develop advanced pollution abatement technology when technology may spillover across countries and pollution abatement is a global public good. We are motivated in part by the problem of global warming: a solution to this involves providing a global public good, and will surely require the development and implementation of new technologies. We show that at the Nash equilibrium of a simultaneous-move game with R&D investment and emission abatement, whether the free rider effect prevails and under-investment and excess emissions occur depends on the degree of technology spillovers and the effect of R&D on the marginal abatement costs. There are cases in which, contrary to conventional wisdom, Nash equilibrium investments in emissions reductions exceed the first-best case.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey Heal & Nori Tarui, 2008. "Technology diffusion, abatement cost, and transboundary pollution," Working Papers 200803, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200803

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stavins, Robert, 2004. "Environmental Economics," Discussion Papers dp-04-54, Resources For the Future.
    2. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," Working Paper Series rwp00-002, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Malik, Arun S., 1991. "Permanent versus interim regulations: A game-theoretic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 127-139, September.
    4. Bréchet, Thierry & Jouvet, Pierre-André, 2008. "Environmental innovation and the cost of pollution abatement revisited," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 262-265, April.
    5. Barbara Buchner & Carlo Carraro & Igor Cersosimo & Carmen Marchiori, 2002. "Back to Kyoto? US Participation and the Linkage between R&D and Climate Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 688, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Kolstad, Charles D., 2007. "Systematic uncertainty in self-enforcing international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 68-79, January.
    7. Golombek, Rolf & Hoel, Michael, 2005. "The Kyoto agreement and Technology Spillovers," Memorandum 05/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    8. Moledina, Amyaz A. & Coggins, Jay S. & Polasky, Stephen & Costello, Christopher, 2003. "Dynamic environmental policy with strategic firms: prices versus quantities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 356-376, March.
    9. Milliman, Scott R. & Prince, Raymond, 1989. "Firm incentives to promote technological change in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-265, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bertinelli, Luisito & Camacho, Carmen & Zou, Benteng, 2014. "Carbon capture and storage and transboundary pollution: A differential game approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 237(2), pages 721-728.

    More about this item


    International environmental agreement; pollution abatement costs; endogenous technological change.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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