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New Publication: About the Relationship Between Green Technology and Material Usage

The paper published by Tobias Wendler in the journal "Environmental and Resource Economics" examines the impact of environmentally friendly technologies, such as recycling and renewable energies, on resource consumption in the countries of the European Union. It is part of Tobias Wendler's dissertation project on the interaction of technology and natural resources.                                                                                   

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of environmental innovation on material usage, using Direct Material Input (DMI) and Raw Material Input (RMI) as indicators of material usage. The analysis is conducted on European Union countries for the years 1990 to 2012. We utilize the Generalized Method of Moments in a dynamic panel setting. Based on patent data, we construct green knowledge stocks for specific technological domains. We find that the effect of environmental innovation differs between subdomains. Innovation in the areas of energy efficiency, and recycling and reuse is found to reduce material usage. For alternative energy production, transportation, production or processing of goods, and general green innovation no significant effect is found. We observe a distinct reducing effect of some environmental innovation areas when compared with overall innovation. The technology effects are similar for RMI and DMI. The results are discussed from the perspective of literature on the environmental effects of environmental innovation, and literature on decoupling.