Trade and the government underfunding of environmental innovation

22 May 2023, Version 2
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


How does trade affect the making and implementation of environmental policies? I extend our understanding about this broad research question with an understudied case: government support for environmental innovation. As the foremost channel wherein cross-border technology transfer occurs, trade materializes the positive externality of technology investment. With this in mind, countries may tend to strategically underfund environmental technologies—particularly when their trade partners enlarge that spending—to have more money to use other- wise and to avoid politically awkward innovation failures. To substantiate this crowding-out argument, I perform spatial regression with data from 32 OECD countries, 1982–2017, and find that government spending on environmental R&D in one country is negatively correlated with that of the country’s trade partners in environmental goods. Three contributions to the literature are identified and discussed.


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.