Policy-induced technology adoption: Evidence from the U.S. lead phasedown

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2003-09-01

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Abstract

Theory suggests that economic instruments, such as pollution taxes or tradable permits, can provide more efficient technology adoption incentives than conventional regulatory standards. We explore this issue for an important industry undergoing dramatic decreases in allowed pollution - the U.S. petroleum industry's phasedown of lead in gasoline. Using a duration model applied to a panel of refineries from 1971-1995, we find that the pattern of technology adoption is consistent with an economic response to market incentives, plant characteristics, and alternative policies. Importantly, evidence suggests that the tradable permit system used during the phasedown provided incentives for more efficient technology adoption decisions.

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Newell

Richard G. Newell

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Richard G. Newell is the President and CEO of Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent, nonprofit research institution that improves environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the administrator of the US Energy Information Administration, the agency responsible for official US government energy statistics and analysis. Dr. Newell is an adjunct professor at Duke University, where he was previously the Gendell Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics and founding director of its Energy Initiative and Energy Data Analytics Lab. He has also served as the senior economist for energy and environment on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and was a senior fellow, and later a board member, at RFF.

Dr. Newell has published widely on the economics of markets and policies for energy and the environment, including issues surrounding global climate change, energy efficiency, and energy innovation. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council and has provided expert advice to many institutions, such as the National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the International Energy Forum.

Dr. Newell holds a PhD from Harvard University, an MPA from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a BS and BA from Rutgers University.

Specialties: Energy and environmental economics, markets, policies, and technologies.


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