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Sustainability and Competitiveness in Evolutionary Perspectives. Environmental Innovations, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics in the EU


  • Massimiliano Mazzanti


  • Francesco Nicolli


  • Marianna Gilli


We take a sector based perspective to investigate the EU economic, environmental and innovation performances. We correlate the various sector performances taking into account the role of changing specialization. In addition, we examine sector environmental performances related factors through shift-share decomposition analysis. We show that vivid divergences in environmental, economic and innovation performances exist between EU countries. The leading role of Germany emerges, with strong underpinnings in its economic specialization rooted on manufacturing. France excels in some services, while Italy suffers. Germany and Sweden more than others present win win economic-environmental sector performances. On the basis of our investigation economic and environmental performances are effectively potentially interrelated. Examples of integrated innovation-economic-environmental performances appear. Nevertheless, the sector view highlights that the underpinnings of macro performance rely on various structural change and innovation elements. Further research could investigate how composition effects and innovation changes correlate towards the achievement of sustainable economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli & Marianna Gilli, 2013. "Sustainability and Competitiveness in Evolutionary Perspectives. Environmental Innovations, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics in the EU," Working Papers 2013042, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udf:wpaper:2013042

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Horbach, Jens & Rammer, Christian & Rennings, Klaus, 2012. "Determinants of eco-innovations by type of environmental impact — The role of regulatory push/pull, technology push and market pull," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 112-122.
    2. Simone Borghesi & Giulio Cainelli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2012. "European Emission Trading Scheme and environmental innovation: an empirical analysis using CIS data for Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 71(1), pages 71-97, October.
    3. Kemp, René & Pontoglio, Serena, 2011. "The innovation effects of environmental policy instruments — A typical case of the blind men and the elephant?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 28-36.
    4. Esteban, J., 2000. "Regional convergence in Europe and the industry mix: a shift-share analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 353-364, May.
    5. Garcia-Mila, Teresa & McGuire, Therese J., 1993. "Industrial mix as a factor in the growth and variability of states' economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 731-748, December.
    6. Giovanni Marin & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2013. "The evolution of environmental and labor productivity dynamics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 357-399, April.
    7. Kurt Dopfer, 2012. "The origins of meso economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 133-160, January.
    8. Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2009. "Environmental efficiency and labour productivity: Trade-off or joint dynamics? A theoretical investigation and empirical evidence from Italy using NAMEA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1182-1194, February.
    9. Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2012. "Which policy instruments to induce clean innovating?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1770-1778.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2017. "Sustainable development and industrial development: manufacturing environmental performance, technology and consumption/production perspectives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 183-203, April.
    2. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli & Luca Di Girolamo & Nicola Fogagnolo & Marco Antonio Miglietta & Luca Navarro, 2013. "Cambiamento climatico, politica ambientale e performance economiche: un'analisi dinamica e settoriale sull’Europa," Working Papers 2013192, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    3. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Davide Antonioli & Francesco Nicolli & Marianna Gilli, 2013. "Information Technology, Environmental Innovations and Complementarity Strategies," Working Papers 2013132, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    4. Richard Hu, 2015. "Sustainability and Competitiveness in Australian Cities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(2), pages 1-21, February.
    5. Max Rånge & Mikael Sandberg, 2016. "Windfall gains or eco-innovation? ‘Green’ evolution in the Swedish innovation system," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(2), pages 229-246, April.
    6. Brian Chi-ang Lin & Siqi Zheng & Nicolò Barbieri & Claudia Ghisetti & Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Francesco Nicolli, 2016. "A Survey Of The Literature On Environmental Innovation Based On Main Path Analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 596-623, July.
    7. Davide Antonioli & Simone Borghesi & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2014. "Are Regional Systems Greening the Economy? the Role of Environmental Innovations and Agglomeration Forces," Working Papers 2014.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Francesco Crespi & Claudia Ghisetti & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Environmental and innovation policies for the evolution of green technologies: a survey and a test," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(2), pages 343-370, December.
    9. Giulio Guarini, 2015. "Complementarity between environmental efficiency and labour productivity in a cumulative growth process," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 68(272), pages 41-56.

    More about this item


    Environmental innovation; economic performance; decomposition; meso economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

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