Technological Change and the Environment

85 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 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)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2001

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 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 theory and empirical evidence on invention, innovation, and diffusion and the related literature on the effects of environmental policy on the creation of new, environmentally friendly technology. We conclude with suggestions for further research on technological change and the environment.

Suggested Citation

Jaffe, Adam B. and Newell, Richard G. and Stavins, Robert N., Technological Change and the Environment (October 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=252927 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.252927

Adam B. Jaffe

Brandeis University ( email )

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Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment ( email )

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Robert N. Stavins (Contact Author)

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

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Resources for the Future

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