IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/5510.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Towards a Theory and Policy of Eco-Innovation - Neoclassical and (Co-)Evolutionary Perspectives

Author

Listed:
  • Rennings, Klaus

Abstract

Innovation processes toward sustainable development (eco-innovations) have received increasing attention during the past years. Since existing theoretical and methodological frameworks do not address these problems adequately, research need can be identified to improve our understanding of innovation processes toward sustainability in their different dimensions, complex feedback mechanisms and interrelations. This paper discusses the potential contribution of neoclassical and (co-)evolutionary approaches from environmental and innovation economics to fill this gap. It is argued that both approaches have their merits and limits concerning a theory and policy of ecoinnovation. Neoclassical methods are most elaborated to analyze the efficiency of incentive systems which seems to be essential for stimulating innovation. Evolutionary approaches are more appropriate for analyzing long-term technological regime shifts. On this theoretical basis, a crucial question is if innovations toward sustainability can be treated like normal innovations or if a specific theory and policy are needed. Three specialties of eco-innovation are identified: the double externality problem, the regulatory push/pull effect and the increasing importance of social and institutional innovation. While the first two of them are widely ignored in innovation economics, the third is at least not elaborated appropriately. The consideration of these specialties may help to overcome market failure by establishing a specific eco-innovation policy and to avoid a "technology bias" by a broader understanding of innovation. Eco-innovation policy requires close coordination with environmental policy in all innovation phases. Environmental and eco-innovation policy can be regarded as complementarily. However, an environmental policy neglecting the potentially beneficial effects of a specific eco-innovation policy (especially in the invention phase) may lead to excessive economic costs. Due to the specialties of eco-innovation, it seems moreover to be crucial to strengthen the importance of social and institutional innovation in both eco-innovation theory and policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Rennings, Klaus, 1998. "Towards a Theory and Policy of Eco-Innovation - Neoclassical and (Co-)Evolutionary Perspectives," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-24, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5510
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24575/1/dp2498.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rennings, Klaus & Wiggering, Hubert, 1997. "Steps towards indicators of sustainable development: Linking economic and ecological concepts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 25-36, January.
    2. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1997. "Environmental Regulation And Innovation: A Panel Data Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 610-619, November.
    4. Rader, Nancy A. & Norgaard, Richard B., 1996. "Efficiency and sustainability in restructured electricity markets: the renewables portfolio standard," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 37-49, July.
    5. Rennings, Klaus & Koschel, Henrike & Brockmann, Karl Ludwig & Kuhn, Isabel, 1999. "A regulatory framework for a policy of sustainability: lessons from the neo-liberal school," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-212, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Giovanni Marin & Susanna Mancinelli & Francesco Nicolli, 2015. "Carbon dioxide reducing environmental innovations, sector upstream/downstream integration and policy: evidence from the EU," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 709-735, November.
    2. Borghesi, Simone & Cainelli, Giulio & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2015. "Linking emission trading to environmental innovation: Evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 669-683.
    3. Segura-Bonilla, Olman, 2003. "Competitiveness, systems of innovation and the learning economy: the forest sector in Costa Rica," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 373-384, December.
    4. Anna J. Wieczorek & Marko P. Hekkert & Ruud E.H.M. Smits, 2009. "Contemporary Innovation Policy and Instruments: Challenges and Implications," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 09-12, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Jul 2009.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5510. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.