Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Environmental economic regulations and innovative capability: The clean development mechanism
by Saenz Delgado, Santos, Ph.D., Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico), 2013, 162; 3585551
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation takes on the debate of whether environmental economic regulations hamper or incentivize firm performance, aside from their objectives of pollutant reductions. Research has shown mixed results regarding this matter. This dissertation proposes that the reason for these mixed results is the omission of the capacity of individual firms to assimilate and respond to these regulations, regarded here as signals from the economic and institutional environment. These signals from the environment come in the form of technological change as environmental economic regulations impose limits to the products, processes or services, which are pollutant intensive, or provide pollutant reduction technologies. Therefore the capacity that firms must possess in order to respond to these signals from the environment must be technology related. It is proposed here that the innovative capability can allow for firms to respond, in a performance increasing way, to these signals from the environment, as it entails the capacity of developing or adopting new technologies.

The theoretical approach that this dissertation follows is to frame the economic environmental regulations under a classical regulatory framework, with the diverse mechanisms such as taxes, caps-and-quotas, and subsidies which are regarded as economic environmental regulations, and as signals external to the firm, which act upon it. The innovative capability will be addressed under the resource-based view and dynamic capabilities approach, as this research is under a strategic management perspective. Here the innovative capability is regarded as part of a firm's dynamic capabilities, and it is the means through which firms can assimilate and respond to changes in the environment. Performance relates to the outcomes of the interaction between environmental economic regulations and the innovative capability, and it is expected that the previously mentioned interaction has an effect over the firm, whether it can be beneficial or not, regarding market access or expansion, or earnings/revenues. In the present research project performance is taken as the efficiency rate, and the earnings/revenues of a project of the Clean Development Mechanism or CDM under the Kyoto Protocol (UNFCCC 2013). The institutional environment will be addressed from North's (1990) new institutional economics perspective of institutional theory, which highlights the capability for firms being moderated or mediated by the external environment and vice versa.

To operationalize environmental economic regulations this dissertation will reach out to the aforementioned Kyoto protocol, an international agreement for emissions reduction. These emissions reductions are achieved through various mechanisms that allow for different entities to reduce their said emissions, separated by what the Protocol has called commitment countries of the Annex I; and non-Annex I countries with no quantitative commitments. The clean development mechanism (CDM) is one of these mechanisms and it is targeted at firms located in countries of the Kyoto protocol that have no reduction commitments, all of which are emerging economies. The CDM provides firms with pollutant reduction technologies that allow them to transform their pollutants into less harmful emissions, while yielding carbon credits with which they can further trade. These technologies differ in their degree of innovativeness, and each project chooses which technology it will be implementing. The innovative capability dimension will be operationalized as the capacity of firms to select and implement projects with high innovativeness levels. Performance will be operationalized as the particular efficiency rate of each CDM project included in the sample. This is a ratio between the expected and the real number of carbon credits yielded by each CDM project. It also might be reflected in economic variables such as the revenues generated by the project which is the difference between the investment of the project and the revenues obtained from the sale of the carbon credits. The CDM allows for analyzing a single environmental economic regulation across different countries, regarded here as different institutional environments. The effect of these different institutional environments on CDM projects will be assessed by analyzing the effect of their different characteristics, such as country's abatement potential, institutional capacity, investment climate, and geographical or regional characteristics. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yunez, Alejandro Ibarra
School: Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico)
School Location: Mexico
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Climate Change, Management
Keywords: Clean development mechanism, Climate change, Environmental regulation, Innovation, Inovative capability, Institutional theory
Publication Number: 3585551
ISBN: 978-1-303-80125-9
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