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End-of-Pipe or Cleaner Production? An Empirical Comparison of Environmental Innovation Decisions Across OECD Countries

  • Frondel, Manuel
  • Horbach, Jens
  • Rennings, Klaus

While both fundamental types of abatement measures mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of production, cleaner production technologies are frequently more advantageous than end-of-pipe technologies for environmental and economic reasons. This paper analyzes a variety of factors that might enhance firms? propensity to implement cleaner products and production technologies instead of end-of-pipe technologies. On the basis of a unique facility-level data set derived from a recent OECD survey, we find a clear dominance of cleaner production in seven OECD countries: Surprisingly, 76.8% of the facilities report that they invest predominantly in cleaner production technologies. With regard to environmental product innovations, the large majority of facilities reports that the measures they have undertaken to reduce environmental impacts were geared at production processes and not so much at products. Our estimation results are based on multinomial logit models which indicate that regulatory measures and the stringency of environmental policies are positively correlated with end-of-pipe technologies, while cost savings, general management systems, and specific environmental management tools tend to favor clean production. We conclude that improvements towards cleaner products and production may be reached by the continuous development and wider diffusion of these management tools. Improvements may also be stimulated by widening the cost gap between the two types of technologies, for instance, by additionally charging for waste and energy use.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 04-82.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2887
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  1. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  2. Harabi, Najib, 1997. "Determinanten des technischen Fortschritts auf Branchenebene: Ein Überblick," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1996. "Environmental Regulation and Innovation: A Panel Data Study," NBER Working Papers 5545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Rennings, Klaus, 1999. "Employment impacts of cleaner production: evidence from a German study using case studies and surveys," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-32, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Geroski, P A, 1990. "Innovation, Technological Opportunity, and Market Structure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 586-602, July.
  6. repec:rwi:dpaper:0015 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2002. "Research and development: financial constraints and the role of public funding for small and medium-sized enterprises," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-74, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Fischer, Carolyn & Parry, Ian W. H. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Instrument choice for environmental protection when technological innovation is endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 523-545, May.
  9. Rennings, Klaus & Beise, Marian, 2003. "Lead Markets of Environmental Innovations: A Framework for Innovation and Environmental Economics," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
  12. Frondel, Manuel & Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus, 2008. "What triggers environmental management and innovation? Empirical evidence for Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 153-160, May.
  13. Rennings, Klaus & Zwick, Thomas, 2001. "The employment impact of cleaner production on the firm level: empirical evidence from a survey in five European countries," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-08, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  14. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
  15. Jens Horbach, 2003. "Employment and Innovations in the Environmental Sector: Determinants and Econometrical Results for Germany," Working Papers 2003.47, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  16. Peters, Bettina & Lööf, Hans & Janz, Norbert, 2003. "Firm Level Innovation and Productivity: Is there a Common Story Across Countries?," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-26, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. Frondel, Manuel & Horbach, Jens & Rennings, Klaus & Requate, Till, 2004. "Environmental Policy Tools and Firm-Level Management Practices : Empirical Evidence for Germany," Economics Working Papers 2004,02, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  18. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Brunnermeier, Smita B. & Cohen, Mark A., 2003. "Determinants of environmental innovation in US manufacturing industries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 278-293, March.
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