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Environmental innovation and policy: Lessons from an evolutionary model of industrial dynamics. Maïder Saint Jean IFREDE - E3i Bordeaux IV University. Outline of the presentation. Purpose of the model and main building blocks Experimental settings and results Methodological problems

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environmental innovation and policy lessons from an evolutionary model of industrial dynamics

Environmental innovation and policy: Lessons from an evolutionary model of industrial dynamics

Maïder Saint Jean

IFREDE - E3i

Bordeaux IV University

Workshop on 'Environmental policy and modelling in evolutionary economics', May 18th 2006, Amsterdam

outline of the presentation
Outline of the presentation
  • Purpose of the model and main building blocks
  • Experimental settings and results
  • Methodological problems
  • Lessons for policy
introduction
Introduction
  • The purpose of the model is to represent technological trajectories of firms that are guided by several dynamic forces: path-dependency, market selection and supply-demand coevolution.
  • The questions to be answered: is market selection able to favour the development of cleaner technologies? Under which conditions cleaner technologies can be developed and diffused? What are the impacts of stricter emission standards?
slide4
The model deals with a population of rival suppliers in interaction with a population of industrial clients.
    • Suppliers modify the characteristics of their product thanks to R&D investments so as to adapt to demand pressures and to acquire competitive advantage.
    • Clients ’ requirements evolve so as to adapt to technological changes and modifications of industrial structures.
    • Environmental pressures are synthesized with supply chain pressures (price, product quality)
  • The main building blocks cf. figure
supply demand interactions
Supply-Demand Interactions

Supply n firms

Demand m firms

Allocation of

R&D investment

Process/Product Innovation

Competition

among suppliers

Requirement levels

Preferences

2 ’

2

1

3 ’

4

Performance achieved

Market Share

1 ’

Purchase

Defection

Average performance of industry

3

experimental setting
Experimental setting
  • The reference configuration: 12 suppliers, 200 clients, 2 groups of clients
  • Scenarios of industrial dynamics:
    • scenario ‘ homogeneous oligopoly  ’
    • scenatio ‘ market segmentation ’
  • Such scenarios are used to explore the impact of tighter standards upon the trajectories of firms and upon the market structures
the impact of tighter emission standards
The impact of tighter emission standards

The rise in the environmental requirements of clients, generated by tighter environmental standards, has different impacts according to the nature and timing of the standards:

  • A tighter product standard enables a greater increase in the average environmental quality of the product if it is enforced early rather than late. The product standard has also a positive side-effect on the process environmental quality. In particular, if an exclusive dominant design emerges on the market because of strong competition between PROD-type firms, the early application of the product standard leads to a shift in paradigm for firms.
  • A tighter process standard enables an increase not only in the average process environmental quality but also in the average product one. The early application of the standard tends to be more efficient in the case of an homogeneous oligopoly dominated by PROD-type firms.
  • On the contrary, in the case of a market segmentation characterised by the emergence of a green market niche the late application of a tighter process standard allows higher levels of environmental and economic performance to be reached.
in summary
In summary:
  • In the scenario of an exclusive dominant design, independent of the type of standards, it is important to act relatively early before the specialisation of leader PROD-type firms has stabilised, which allows firms to take action before the lock-in into a technological path with low environmental content.
  • In the scenario of coexistence of a dominant design and a green market niche, it is important for the product standard to be implemented prior to the process standard in order to enable the followers to survive and to encourage innovation offsets for firms. In such cases, emission standards may prevent both a situation of lock-in on the supplier side and a situation of behavioural inertia on the user side. Standards may thus enable a preservation of certain forms of technological and behavioural diversity.
limits
Limits
  • Methodological problems related to simulations :
      • the stochastic characteristic of the dynamics;
      • the high number of parameters;
      • the empirical calibration of the model.
  • Limits of the model:
      • no sectoral differences are taken into account;
      • there’s no real price strategies of firms;
      • effective financial constraints do not apply;
      • the role of final consumers is not explicitly incorporated;
      • no new innovative entrants are considered.
  • Regarding environmental innovations:
      • the anticipation of environmental regulation by firms and its impact on firm’s innovation strategy;
      • the issue of “transition management” and system innovations.
lessons for policy
Lessons for policy
  • The efficiency of standards depends on the nature of performance standards (process or product), on the market structure and on the timing of intervention. Such results stress the different efficiency of regulatory instruments according to the evolution of industrial structures across time.
  • Rather than being designed in isolation one with each other a system of instruments related to environmental regulation on the one hand and to innovation and diffusion support on the other hand should be designed. The stake is to implement policy that supports environmental innovation as a dynamic process and that takes into account the different stages from innovation to diffusion.
  • In the model, the survival of a green market niche results from the adjustment between an environmental leader firm and a group of green clients characterised by high environmental requirement levels and high willingness to pay. Moreover an early change in paradigm experienced by environmental pioneering firms turns to open a window of opportunity for the development of a green market niche. So qualitative coordination that prevails between vertically related firms can be an appropriate channel through which regulation can be transmitted.