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Environmental impact of technology policy: R&D Subsidies versus R&D cooperation

Joanna Poyago-Theotoky and Emmanuel Petrakis ()

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: In this paper we study a neglected aspect ofteclmology policy, namely the adverse impact it might have on the envirol1Il1ent through increased production when R&D expenditure leads to cost reduction. Although teclmology policy measures that encourage finns to reduce their production costs would usually reduce energy inputs and therefore generate less pollution per unit of output production, we explore here the case where with reorganisation of production output gene rally increases. So even if per unit of production pollution is less, total pollution generated by the increased production induced by the innovative efforts of films increases. In this context it is therefore necessary to address the issue of tying-in teclmology and environmental policy, which is the issue we raise in this paper. We show that, irrespective of whether teclmology policy takes the fonn of R&D subsidies or R&D cooperation, R&D would gene rally lead to increased pollution and thus have a negative impact on the environment. Policies that might be optimal in the absence of concem for the enviroJUllent ceas e to be so. We claim that not only is a comparison between policy instruments more delicate but the optimal R&D subsidy might be negative. FinalIy, we propose and evaluate a speeific poliey in the form of a targeted subsidy tied-in to abatement activities and show that it is welfare improving.

Keywords: Technology; policy; Process; innovation; Pollution; R&D; cooperation; R&D; subsides (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997-10
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Working Paper: Environmental Impact of Technology Policy: R&D Subsidies Versus R&D Cooperation
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