Technological Change and the Environment

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Much is written in the popular literature about the current pace of technological change. But do we have enough scientific knowledge about the sources and management of innovation to properly inform policymaking in technology dependent domains such as energy and the environment? While it is agreed that technological change does not 'fall from heaven like autumn leaves,' the theory, data, and models are deficient. The specific mechanisms that govern the rate and direction of inventive activity, the drivers and scope for incremental improvements that occur during technology diffusion, and the spillover effects that cross-fertilize technological innovations remain poorly understood. In a work that will interest serious readers of history, policy, and economics, the editors and their distinguished contributors offer a unique, single volume overview of the theoretical and empirical work on technological change. Beginning with a survey of existing research, they provide analysis and case studies in contexts such as medicine, agriculture, and power generation, paying particular attention to what technological change means for efficiency, productivity, and reduced environmental impacts. The book includes a historical analysis of technological change, an examination of the overall direction of technological change, and general theories about the sources of change. The contributors empirically test hypotheses of induced innovation and theories of institutional innovation. They propose ways to model induced technological change and evaluate its impact, and they consider issues such as uncertainty in technology returns, technology crossover effects, and clustering. A copublication o Resources for the Future (RFF) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Contains the most up-to-date and thorough studies on induced technological change. While its emphasis is on the prospects, the expected magnitudes, and costs of carbon reduction, the principles are applicable to the broader field of induced technological change.'
Kenneth J. Arrow, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate in Economics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891853463
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: RFF Press Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 414
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Arnulf Grübler is senior research scholar in the Transitions to New Technologies Project at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). His books include Technology and Global Change.

Nebojsa Nakicenovic is leader of IIASA's Transitions to New Technologies Project. His previous publications include Diffusion of Technologies and Social Behavior (with Arnulf Grübler).

William D. Nordhaus is Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and a Director on the Resources for the Future Board. His books include Invention, Growth and Welfare; Managing the Global Commons: The Economics of Climate Change; and The Swedish Nuclear Dilemma: Energy and the Environment.

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Table of Contents

1. Induced Technological Change and the Environment: An Introduction
Arnulf Grübler, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, and William D. Nordhaus
2. Sources of Technological Change: Induced Innovation, Evolutionary Theory, and Path Dependence
Vernon W. Ruttan
3. Induced Technical Innovation and Medical History: An Evolutionary Approach
Joel Mokyr
4. Induced Adaptive Invention/Innovation and Productivity Convergence in Developing Countries
Robert E. Evenson
5. The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change
Richard G. Newell, Adam B. Jaffe, and Robert N. Stavins
6. Inter-Firm Technology Spillover and the 'Virtuous Cycle' of Photovoltaic Development in Japan
Chirhiro Watanabe, Charla Griffy-Brown, Bing Zhu, and Akira Nagamatsu
7. Technological Change and Diffusion as a Learning Process
Nebojsa Nakicenovic
8. Modeling Induced Innovation in Climate-Change Policy
William D. Nordhaus
9. Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change
Lawrence H. Goulder and Koshy Mathai
10. Modeling Uncertainty of Induced Technological Change
Andrii Gritsevskyi and Nebojsa Nakicenovic
11. A Model of Endogenous Technological Change through Uncertain Returns on Innovation
Arnulf Grübler and Andrii Gritsevskyi
12. Modeling Induced Technological Change: An Overview
Leon E. Clarke and John P. Weyant
13. Induced Institutional Innovation
Vernon W. Ruttan
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Editors

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