nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒05
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Knowledge spillovers from clean and dirty technologies By Antoine Dechezlepretre; Ralf Martin; Myra Mohnen
  2. Why are firms that export cleaner? International trade, Abatement and Environmental Emissions By Forslid, Rikard; Okubo, Toshihiro; Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene
  3. Offset carbon emissions or pay a price premium for avoiding them? A cross-country analysis of motives for climate protection activities By Claudia Schwirplies; Andreas Ziegler
  4. The Harrington Paradox Squared By Coria, Jessica; Zhang, Xiao-Bing

  1. By: Antoine Dechezlepretre; Ralf Martin; Myra Mohnen
    Abstract: How much should governments subsidize the development of new clean technologies? We use patent citation data to investigate the relative intensity of knowledge spillovers in clean and dirty technologies in two technological fields: energy production and transportation. We introduce a new methodology that takes into account the whole history of patent citations to capture the indirect knowledge spillovers generated by patents. We find that conditional on a wide range of potential confounding factors clean patents receive on average 43% more citations than dirty patents. Knowledge spillovers from clean technologies are comparable in scale to those observed in the IT sector. The radical novelty of clean technologies relative to more incremental dirty inventions seems to account for their superiority. Our results can support public support for clean R&D. They also suggest that green policies might be able to boost economic growth through induced knowledge spillovers.
    Keywords: Innovation spill-overs; Climate Change; Growth; Patents; Clean technology; Optimal climate policy
    JEL: H23 O30 O54 O55 Q58
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Forslid, Rikard (Stockholm University and CEPR); Okubo, Toshihiro (Keio university); Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene (University of Oslo and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical model of trade and environmental emissions with heterogeneous firms, where firms make abatement investments and thereby affect their level of emissions. We show that investments in abatement are positively related to firm productivity and firm exports, while emission intensity is negatively related to firms' productivity and exports. The basic reason for these results is that a larger production scale supports more investments in abatement and, in turn, reduces emissions per output. We find that trade liberalization weeds out the least productive and dirtiest firms thereby shifting production away from relatively dirty low productive local firms to more productive and cleaner exporters. The overall effect of trade is therefore to reduce emissions. We test the empirical implications of the model on emission intensity, abatement and exporting using firm-level data from Sweden. The empirical results support our model.
    Keywords: Heterogeneous firms; environmental emissions; abatement; international trade
    JEL: F12 F14 F18 Q56
    Date: 2015–01–19
  3. By: Claudia Schwirplies (University of Kassel); Andreas Ziegler (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the economic literature on pure and impure public goods by consid-ering two alternatives for contributing to the public good climate protection: compensating carbon emissions from conventional consumption or paying higher prices for climate-friendly products. We analytically and empirically examine a wide range of motives and their impact on individuals’ choice in favor of these two alternatives. Relying on data from representative surveys among more than 2000 participants from Germany and the USA, our results indicate that environmental awareness, warm glow motives, and the desire to set a good example sig-nificantly motivate the choice of both climate protection activities in both countries. However, some motives differ considerably between both alternatives and countries. A green identity enhances the willingness to pay a price premium for climate-friendly goods or services in Germany, while social norms seem to be of much higher relevance in the USA. Our results further suggest that the choice of climate protection activities, especially of carbon offsetting, entails a high degree of uncertainty.
    Keywords: Public good; climate change; climate protection; carbon offsetting; price premium
    JEL: H41 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Coria, Jessica (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Zhang, Xiao-Bing (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Harrington (1988) shows that state-dependent enforcement based on past compliance records provides an explanation to the seemingly contradictory observation that firms' compliance with environmental regulations is high despite the fact that inspections occur infrequently and fines are rare and small. This result has been labeled in the literature as the "Harrington paradox". In this paper we propose an improved transition structure for the audit framework where targeting is based not only on firms' past compliance record but also on adoption of environmentally superior technologies. We show that this transition structure would not only foster the adoption of new technology but also increase deterrence by changing the composition of firms in the industry toward an increased fraction of cleaner firms that pollute and violate less.<p>
    Keywords: imperfect compliance; state-dependent targeted enforcement; technology adoption; emission standards
    JEL: K31 K42 L51 Q55
    Date: 2015–01

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