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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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Uncertain R&D and the Porter Hypothesis

David Popp1

1Syracuse University,

Citation Information: Contributions in Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 4, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1538-0645, DOI: 10.2202/1538-0645.1423, June 2005

Publication History:
Published Online:
2005-06-22

Abstract

Ever since Michael Porter proposed that environmental regulations can improve competitiveness, much economic research has examined the potential for such outcomes. Attempts to model Porter hypothesis outcomes in a way consistent with neoclassical economics have focused on things such as strategic relationships between firms, moral hazard problems, and economies of scale. In this paper, I offer a simpler alternative. The results of any R&D project are uncertain. Calibrating a simple model of induced R&D with uncertainty so that the expected value of research is only positive with environmental policy, I find that between 8 and 24 percent of simulations result in cases where post-regulation profits are higher than pre-regulation profits. This result is consistent both with Porter finding specific cases with complete innovation offsets and with macro-level findings that environmental policy is not costless. I conclude by discussing the implication of these results for environmental policy and future research.

Keywords: Porter hypothesis; R&D; uncertainty; induced innovation; technological change

Supplementary Article Materials

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