Inciting Protocols - How International Environmental Agreements Trigger Knowledge Transfers
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 09-060/3
53 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 15, 2009
This paper studies how sulfur protocols trigger invention and diffusion of technologies for reducing SO2 emissions. For this goal we constructed a patent data set on SO2 abatement technologies filed in 15 signatory and non-signatory countries in the period 1970-1997. Our data enable us to study intended knowledge diffusion by separating so called mother patents, or original inventions, from family patents, which represent the same invention but are patents filed in foreign countries. We find that innovating firms file both types of patent applications before the protocols are actually implemented. Moreover, the filing of patents abroad (‘families’) is particularly strong in the countries that cooperate through the international protocols, i.e., the signatory countries. Our results suggest that firms are aware of the potential private benefits of such international agreements. They exploit potential advantages of larger product markets by seeking protection in countries that participate in the protocols.
Keywords: international environmental agreements, inventions, knowledge transfers, patents, acid rain
JEL Classification: D7,D8,031,Q5
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