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- University of East Anglia
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- Bereket Kebede and Thomas Sikor
- SSF, UEA
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This research addresses the issue of abatement policy in rapidly industrializing countries (RICs) through looking at two central questions. Firstly, what policies are likely to be effective in achieving significant levels of GHG abatement in rapidly industrialising countries? And, secondly, how is the political economy context for development planning and policy likely to influence the extent and effectiveness of GHG abatement in rapidly industrialising countries?
In answering the first question, the research focuses in the first instance on the role market based environmental policy instruments can play in promoting environmental technological change (Harrington et al., 2004b; OECD, 2007). However, an emphasis on the importance of environmental technological change and market failures related to both technological innovation and diffusion (Jaffe et al., 2005), highlights the likely insufficiency of price instruments for realising long-term system wide environmental technological change, and suggests the need for greater state intervention. Similar conclusions are reached from a range of differing theoretical perspectives including evolutionary (Nelson, 1995; Nelson and Winter, 2002) and path dependant (David, 1985; Arthur, 1989) approaches to technological change.
While the empirical evidence on the efficacy of market based environmental policy instruments suggest that they may be least-cost (Jaffe et al., 2002; Harrington et al., 2004a), evidence relating to their ability to promote system wide environmental technological change is highly equivocal (Wara, 2006; Driesen, 2008; Gonzalez, 2009). Applied approaches to the understanding of the historical experience of technological change support the contention that the role for state intervention and industrial policy is likely to be significant (Amsden, 1992; Hughes, 1993; Wade, 2004). In particular, notions of the developmental state and national innovation systems are found to be of helpful in understanding policy interventions for economic catch-up and technological change (Johnson, 1982; Freeman, 1995; Angel and Rock, 2009; Cimoli et al., 2009).
From this discussion the role of the domestic political economy emerges as a central variable in understanding the barriers to environmental technological change. The extent to which the interests of particular political groups are in-line with the policy needs and outcomes in promoting environmental technological change is likely to be important (Perkins, 2003). Research investigating the flow of economic rents and the rent-seeking processes as states have tried to manage the process of economic catch-up are especially relevant (Khan and Jomo, 2000; Chang and Cheema, 2002; Khan and Blankenburg, 2009). The effective management of rents-for-learning, rents-for-monitoring and Schumpeterian rents, on these accounts, have been central to economic catch-up in countries such as South Korea and Malaysia. Conversely, ineffective rent management is used as an explanation of failures in catch up such as in 1960s India (Khan, 2000).
Building on the rent seeking approach to investigate the barriers to environmental technological change, this research develops case studies of two key development sectors in Vietnam, the power sector and the transportation sector. These sectors have been chosen as they are expected to be important contributors to emissions in Vietnam and elsewhere; they are sectors closely related to industrial development and catch-up; and, they display very different characteristics both in terms of ownership, organisation, scale, technology, and demand and supply side. The investigatory methodology will consist of a review and analysis of policy and strategic planning documents, grey literature (including domestic and foreign media sources, reports and research undertaken by NGOs, IGOs, Bi-lateral donors and the private sector), sources of qualitative data on investment and related financial flows, trends and projections in energy sectors, industrial trends and projections, etc (from sources such as domestic government sources and international bodies such as the IEA), and semi-structured and unstructured interviews with key informants form government bodies, civil society, the private sector and the wider donor community.
A. Amsden (1992), Asia's next giant: South Korea and late industrialization: Oxford University Press, USA.
D. Angel and M. T. Rock (2009), 'Environmental rationalities and the development state in East Asia: Prospects for a sustainability transition', Technological Forecasting and Social Change 76(2): 229-240.
W. B. Arthur (1989), 'Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events', The Economic Journal 99(394): 116-131.
H.-J. Chang and A. Cheema (2002), 'Conditions for Successful Technology Policy in Developing Countries--Learning Rents, State Structures, and Institutions', Economics of Innovation and New Technology 11(4-5): 369-398.
M. Cimoli, G. Dosi and J. E. Stiglitz (2009), 'The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation: The Past and Future of Policies for Industrial Development', in Cimoli, M., Dosi, G. and Stiglitz, J. E., eds., Industrial Policy and Development: The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
P. A. David (1985), 'Clio and the Economics of QWERTY', The American Economic Review 75(2): 332-337.
D. M. Driesen (2008), 'Sustainable development and market liberalism's shotgun wedding: Emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol', Indiana Law Journal 83(1): 21-69.
C. Freeman (1995), 'The'National System of Innovation'in historical perspective', Cambridge Journal of Economics 19(1): 5-24.
P. D. Gonzalez (2009), 'The empirical analysis of the determinants for environmental technological change: A research agenda', Ecological Economics 68(3): 861-878.
W. Harrington, R. D. Morgenstern and T. Sterner (2004a), Choosing Environmental Policy. Comparing Instruments and Outcomes in the United States and Europe, Washington D.C.: Resources for the Future.
W. Harrington, R. D. Morgenstern and T. Sterner (2004b), 'Overview: Comparing Instrument Choices', in Harrington, W., Morgenstern, R. D. and Sterner, T., eds., Choosing Environmental Policy: Comparing Instruments and Outcomes in the United States and Europe, Washington, DC, USA: Resources for the future Press, 283.
T. Hughes (1993), Networks of power: electrification in Western society, 1880-1930: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr.
A. B. Jaffe, R. G. Newell and R. N. Stavins (2002), 'Environmental policy and technological change', Environmental & Resource Economics 22(1-2): 41-69.
A. B. Jaffe, R. G. Newell and R. N. Stavins (2005), 'A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy', Ecological Economics 54(2-3): 164-174.
C. Johnson (1982), MITI and the Japanese miracle: the growth of industrial policy, 1925-1975: Stanford Univ Pr.
M. H. Khan (2000), 'Rent-seeking as a process', in Khan, M. H. and Jomo, K. S., eds., Rents, Rent-seeking and Economic Development: theory and Evidence in Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
M. H. Khan and S. Blankenburg (2009), 'The Political Economy of Industrial Policy in Asia and Latin America', in Dosi, G., Cimoli, M. and Stiglitz, J., eds., Industrial Policy and Development. The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation: Oxford University Press.
M. H. Khan and K. S. Jomo (2000), Rents, rent-seeking and economic development: Theory and evidence in Asia, Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
R. Nelson (1995), 'Recent evolutionary theorizing about economic change', Journal of Economic Literature 33(1): 48-90.
R. Nelson and S. Winter (2002), 'Evolutionary theorizing in economics', Journal of Economic Perspectives 16(2): 23-46.
OECD (2007), Instrument Mixes for Environmental Policy, Paris: OECD.
R. Perkins (2003), 'Environmental leapfrogging in developing countries: A critical assessment and reconstruction', Natural Resources Forum 27(3): 177-188.
R. Wade (2004), Governing the market: Economic theory and the role of government in East Asian industrialization: Princeton University Press.
M. Wara (2006), 'Measuring the Clean Development Mechanism's Performance and Potential', in, Stanford, CA: Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, 46.
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