Roland J. M. Bénabou

“Environmental Preferences and Technological Choices: Is Market Competition Clean or Dirty?”

Event description

Roland J. M. Benabou presented his recent paper “Environmental Preferences and Technological Choices: Is Market Competition Clean or Dirty?”, co-authored with Philippe Aghion, Ralf Martin, and Alexandra Roulet. From the abstract:

We investigate the effects of consumers’ environmental concerns and market competition on firms’ decisions to innovate in “clean” technologies. Agents care about their consumption and environmental footprint; firms pursue greener products to soften price competition. Acting as complements, these forces determine R&D, pollution, and welfare. We test the theory using panel data on patents by 8,562 automobile-sector firms in 41 countries, environmental willingness-to-pay, and competition. As predicted, exposure to pro social attitudes fosters clean innovation, all the more so where competition is strong. Plausible increases in both together can spur it as much as a large fuel-price increase.


Anastasia Pappas
Founder, E-axes Forum

Roland J. M. Bénabou

Roland Bénabou joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1999 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the School of Public and International Affairs. His research spans both macroeconomic and microeconomic areas, such as the interplay of inflation and imperfect competition, or speculation and manipulation in financial markets. His recent work lies in three main areas. The first links inequality, growth, social mobility and the political economy of redistribution. The second centers on education, social interactions and the socioeconomic structure of cities. The third is that of economics and psychology (“behavioral economics”). Bénabou is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the Econometric Society, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor, Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and a member of the Behavioral Economics Roundtable.

Paper and slides

"Environmental Preferences and Technological Choices: Is Market Competition Clean or Dirty?" (Paper)

"Environmental Preferences and Technological Choices: Is Market Competition Clean or Dirty?" (Slides)



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