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Climate policies and induced technological change: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies


  • Kverndokk, Snorre

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research,)

  • Rosendahl, Knut Einar

    () (Research Department, Statistics Norway)

  • Rutherford, Thomas F.

    () (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder,)


We study the role of technology subsidies in climate policies, using a simple dynamic equilibrium model with learning-by-doing. The optimal subsidy rate of a carbon-free technology is high when the technology is first adopted, but falls significantly over the next decades. However, the efficiency costs of uniform instead of optimal subsidies, may be low if there are introduction or expansion constraints for a new technology. Finally, supporting existing energy technologies only, may lead to technology lock-in, and the impacts of lock-in increase with the learning potential of new technologies as well as the possibilities for early entry and thight carbon constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2004. "Climate policies and induced technological change: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Memorandum 05/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2004_005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Redding, 2002. "Path Dependence, Endogenous Innovation, and Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1215-1248, November.
    2. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
    3. Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl & Thomas Rutherford, 2004. "Climate Policies and Induced Technological Change: Which to Choose, the Carrot or the Stick?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(1), pages 21-41, January.
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    6. Grubler, Arnulf & Messner, Sabine, 1998. "Technological change and the timing of mitigation measures," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5-6), pages 495-512, December.
    7. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    8. Marc Baudry, 2000. "Joint Management of Emission Abatement and Technological Innovation for Stock Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(2), pages 161-183, June.
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    10. Lau, Morten I. & Pahlke, Andreas & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2002. "Approximating infinite-horizon models in a complementarity format: A primer in dynamic general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 577-609, April.
    11. Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
    12. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
    13. Manne, Alan & Richels, Richard, 2004. "The impact of learning-by-doing on the timing and costs of CO2 abatement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 603-619, July.
    14. 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.
    15. Manne, Alan S. & Barreto, Leonardo, 2004. "Learn-by-doing and carbon dioxide abatement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 621-633, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2007. "Climate policies and learning by doing: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 58-82, January.
    2. Yang, Dong-xiao & Chen, Zi-yue & Nie, Pu-yan, 2016. "Output subsidy of renewable energy power industry under asymmetric information," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 117(P1), pages 291-299.
    3. Otto, Vincent M. & Reilly, John, 2008. "Directed technical change and the adoption of CO2 abatement technology: The case of CO2 capture and storage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2879-2898, November.
    4. Finn Roar Aune & Snorre Kverndokk & Lars Lindholt & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2005. "Profitability of different instruments in international climate policies," Discussion Papers 403, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. repec:eee:eneeco:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:458-470 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Marisa Beck, Randall Wigle, 2014. "Carbon Revenue: Recycling versus Technological Incentives," LCERPA Working Papers 0079, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 13 Jan 2014.
    7. 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


    Climate change policies; Computable equilibrium models; Induced technological change; Subsidies; Timing.;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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