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What Drives the International Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies? Empirical Evidence from Patent Data

Abstract : Article Abstract : Technology transfer plays a key role in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we characterize the factors that promote or hinder the international diffusion of climate-friendly technologies using detailed patent data from 96 countries for the period 1995-2007. The data provide strong evidence that lax Intellectual Property regimes have a strong and negative impact on the international diffusion of patented knowledge. Restrictions on international trade and foreign direct investment also hinder the diffusion of climate-friendly technologies. Surprisingly, local technological capabilities tend to discourage transfers. While broad indicators of technology capabilities are expected to facilitate transfers, this latter result stems from our technology-specific definition of local capabilities, which makes it possible to capture a substitution effect between local and foreign inventions.
Working paper abstract: Using patent data from 66 countries for the period 1990-2003, we characterize the factors which promote or hinder the international diffusion of climate-friendly technologies on a global scale. Regression results show that technology-specific capabilities of the recipient countries are determinant factors. In contrast, the general level of education is less important. We also show that restrictions to international trade--e.g., high tariff rates--and to a lesser extent lax intellectual property regimes negatively influence the international diffusion of patented knowledge. A counter-intuitive result is that barriers to foreign direct investments can promote transfers. We discuss different possible interpretations.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 4:11:12 PM
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Antoine Dechezleprêtre, Matthieu Glachant, Yann Ménière. What Drives the International Transfer of Climate Change Mitigation Technologies? Empirical Evidence from Patent Data. Environmental and Resource Economics, Springer, 2013, 54 (2), pp.161-178. ⟨10.1007/s10640-012-9592-0⟩. ⟨hal-00488268⟩

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