Exploring links between innovation and diffusion: Adoption of NOX control technologies at US coal-fired power plants

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41 Scopus citations


While many studies have looked at innovation and adoption of technologies separately, the two processes are linked. Advances (and expected advances) in a single technology should affect both its adoption rate and the adoption of alternative technologies. This paper combines plant-level data on US coal-fired electric power plants with patent data pertaining to NOX pollution control techniques to study this link. As in other studies of environmental technologies, the effect of other explanatory variables is dominated by the effect of environmental regulations, demonstrating that the mere presence of environmental technologies is not enough to encourage its usage. Nonetheless, I do find that technological advances are important for the adoption of existing combustion modification technologies. However, these advances are less important for the adoption of newer post-combustion control techniques, which are adopted only when needed to comply with the strictest emission limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-352
Number of pages34
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Air pollution
  • Environmental policy
  • Expectations
  • Technology transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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