Greening Economic Growth: How can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?

This research project explores the relationship between environmental regulation, innovation, and competitiveness through a meta-analysis, which extracts key implications for economic thinking and future research, and unique datasets on patented “environmental” inventions.

In 1991, Michael Porter directly challenged the economic orthodoxy by suggesting that well-designed environmental regulation could potentially enhance competitiveness. Traditional economics held that placing environmental restrictions on firms necessarily restricted firms’ decision sets and ultimately decreased profits. This project contributes to the re-conceptualization of conventional economic thinking about growth and the environment and examines possible approaches to boost eco-innovation.