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Absorptive Capacity, R&D Spillovers, Emissions Taxes and R&D Subsidies

  • Ben Youssef, Slim
  • Zaccour, Georges

We consider in this paper a duopoly competing in quantities and where�firms can invest in R&D to control their emissions. We distinguish between effort carried out to acquire first-hand knowledge (original R&D)and effort to develop an absorptive capacity to be able to capture part of the knowledge developed by rival. There are also free R&D spillovers between firms. We show that a regulator can reach the social optimal outcome by implementing a taxation and subsidy policy. The regulator subsidizes at a higher rate original R&D effort than its absorptive capacity counterpart when the free spillovers are high, and the contrary may occur when the free spillovers are low. When the cost of original research is lower than the one of absorptive research, or when the learning parameter of the latter is low, then the socially optimal level of original research is higher than the one of absorptive capacity. We have the opposite result when the cost of absorptive capacity is lower than the one of original research and when the learning parameter is high.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16984.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision: Aug 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16984
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  1. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  2. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard, 2004. "Environmental and Technology Policies for Climate Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-04-05, Resources For the Future.
  3. Kort, P.M. & Farzin, Y.H., 2000. "Pollution abatement investment when environmental regulation is uncertain," Other publications TiSEM 90e78d8b-95d9-4d17-9d0f-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  5. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 2004. "Absorptive Capacity, R&D Spillovers and Public Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4171, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Spencer, Barbara J & Brander, James A, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 707-22, October.
  7. Ulph, Alistair, 1996. "Environmental Policy and International Trade when Governments and Producers Act Strategically," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 265-281, May.
  8. Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, 1999. "A Note on Endogenous Spillovers in a Non-Tournament R & D Duopoly," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 253-262, November.
  9. Slim Ben Youssef, 2009. "Transboundary pollution, R&D spillovers and international trade," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 235-250, March.
  10. Stranlund, John K., 1997. "Public Technological Aid to Support Compliance to Environmental Standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 228-239, November.
  11. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 1997. "Pollution Accumulation and Firm Incentives to Accelerate Technological Change Under Uncertain Private Benefits," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 285-300, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
  14. Chrysovalantou Milliou, 2009. "Endogenous protection of R&D investments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 184-205, February.
  15. Grunfeld, Leo A., 2003. "Meet me halfway but don't rush: absorptive capacity and strategic R&D investment revisited," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(8), pages 1091-1109, October.
  16. Jung, Chulho & Krutilla, Kerry & Boyd, Roy, 1996. "Incentives for Advanced Pollution Abatement Technology at the Industry Level: An Evaluation of Policy Alternatives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 95-111, January.
  17. Anna Hammerschmidt, 2006. "A strategic investment game with endogenous absorptive capacity," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp092, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  18. Requate, Till & Unold, Wolfram, 2003. "Environmental policy incentives to adopt advanced abatement technology:: Will the true ranking please stand up?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 125-146, February.
  19. Conrad Klaus, 1993. "Taxes and Subsidies for Pollution-Intensive Industries as Trade Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-135, September.
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