Does Foreign Environmental Policy Influence Domestic Innovation? Evidence from the Wind Industry
46 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2012
Date Written: March 2012
This paper examines the relative influence of domestic and foreign renewable energy policies on innovation activity in wind power using patent data from OECD countries from 1995 to 2005. We distinguish between the impact of demand-pull policies (e.g. guaranteed tariffs, investment and production tax credits), as reflected by wind power capacity installed annually, and technology-push policies (government support to R&D). We show that inventors respond to both domestic and foreign new wind capacity by increasing their innovation effort. However, the effect of the marginal wind turbine installed at home on the rate of innovation is between 36 to 55 times stronger than that of the marginal wind turbine installed abroad. Unlike demand-pull policies, public R&D expenditures only affect domestic inventors. A simple calculation suggests that the marginal million dollars spent on R&D support generates between 0.67 and 0.86 new inventions, whereas the same amount spent on the deployment of wind turbines induces, at best, 0.09 new inventions (0.05 locally and 0.04 abroad).
Keywords: innovation, public R&D, renewable energy policies, wind power
JEL Classification: O31, Q42, Q55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation