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Knowledge Spillovers from clean and dirty technologies

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  • Antoine Dechezlepretre, Ralf Martin, Myra Mohnen

Abstract

Government policy in support of innovation often varies across technology areas. An important example are climate change policies that typically try to support so called clean technologies that avoid greenhouse gas pollution and hamper dirty technologies that are associated with polluting emissions. This paper explores the economic consequences of such policy moves in the short run. At the margin private returns of R&D investments in different areas should be equalised. Hence, shifting the composition of R&D activities by a policy intervention will only have a meaningful impact on economic outcomes if the external returns differ. Hence, we compare innovation spillovers between clean, dirty and other emerging technologies using patent citation data. We develop new methodology including the usage of Page rank measures developed by Google to rank web content. Exploring a wide range of robustness checks we consistently find up to 40% higher levels of spillovers from clean technologies. We also use firm-level financial data to investigate the impact of knowledge spillovers on firms’ market value and find that marginal economic value of spillovers from clean technologies is also greater.

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  • Antoine Dechezlepretre, Ralf Martin, Myra Mohnen, 2017. "Knowledge Spillovers from clean and dirty technologies," GRI Working Papers 135, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp135
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    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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