Emissions trading scheme and directed technological change – evidence from China

EfD Discussion Paper
1 October 2020

Ruijie Tian

This paper examines the impact of carbon emissions trading schemes (ETS) on technical change proxied by the number of green patents in the context of the pilot ETS in China. I find a small increase of 0.16 patents per rm and year. A 10 percent increase in carbon prices increases green patents by 2 percent. The strongest effects are for the two regions in the upper range of carbon prices and for more productive firms. However, there are contrasting patterns at the extensive and intensive margins of green innovation: the pilot ETS reduces entry into green innovative activities but increases levels of innovating for firms that were innovative before they were regulated by ETS, especially for the more productive firms. This indicates that an important policy challenge is to encourage the firms covered by ETS to start innovation in green technologies; this applies particularly to the larger and more productive firms.

EfD Authors
Publication reference
Emissions Trading Scheme and Directed Technological Change
Publication | 2 November 2020