Technological Change and the Environment

HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS, K.G. Maler & J. Vincent, eds., North-Holland/Elsevier Science, Forthcoming 2002

Posted: 10 Nov 2000

See all articles by Adam B. Jaffe

Adam B. Jaffe

Brandeis University; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Resources for the Future

Robert N. Stavins

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Resources for the Future; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Abstract

Environmental policy discussions increasingly focus on issues related to technological change. This is partly because the environmental consequences of social activity are frequently affected by the rate and direction of technological change, and partly because environmental policy interventions can themselves create constraints and incentives that have significant effects on the path of technological progress. This paper, prepared as a chapter draft for the forthcoming Handbook of Environmental Economics (North-Holland/Elsevier Science), summarizes for environmental economists current thinking on technological change in the broader economics literature, surveys the growing economic literature on the interaction between technology and the environment, and explores the normative implications of these analyses. We begin with a brief overview of the economics of technological change, and then examine three important areas where technology and the environment intersect: the theory and empirical evidence of induced innovation and the related literature on the effects of environmental policy on the creation of new, environmentally friendly technology; the theory and empirics of environmental issues related to technology diffusion; and analyses of the comparative technological impacts of alternative environmental policy instruments. We conclude with suggestions for further research on technological change and the environment.

Keywords: technological change, environment, invention, innovation, diffusion

JEL Classification: O3, Q20, Q40

Suggested Citation

Jaffe, Adam B. and Newell, Richard G. and Stavins, Robert N., Technological Change and the Environment. HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS, K.G. Maler & J. Vincent, eds., North-Holland/Elsevier Science, Forthcoming 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=244406

Adam B. Jaffe

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
781-736-2251 (Phone)
781-736-2263 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.brandeis.edu/global/people/faculty/jaff

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment ( email )

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United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Resources for the Future ( email )

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Robert N. Stavins (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1820 (Phone)
617-496-3783 (Fax)

Resources for the Future

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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