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Using patents and prototypes for preliminary evaluation of technology-forcing policies: Lessons from California's Zero Emission Vehicle regulations

William Sierzchula and Gregory Nemet ()

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2015, vol. 100, issue C, 213-224

Abstract: Technology-forcing policies are one of several measures that governments have at their disposal in order to address market failures arising from knowledge spillover and pollution externalities. However due to uncertainty and information asymmetry, pre-commercial evaluation of these policies can be difficult, especially for radically novel technologies. We use a case study of California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations and their impact on electric vehicle technology development by the 21 largest auto manufacturers 1991–2013 to determine whether patents and prototypes are valid preliminary indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of technology-forcing policies. In order to better understand automaker R&D activity, it was necessary to include a global perspective. The results show that patents, when embedded within a global industrial perspective, can be used to analyze technology-forcing policies, which provides a helpful tool for policy makers gauging the effectiveness of these types of regulations in pre-commercial or early market environments.

Keywords: Public policy; Technology adoption; Electric vehicles; Eco-innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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