We present a joint theoretical-empirical investigation to assess the adoption by manufacturing firms of innovations aimed at increasing recycling and, consequently, reducing the use of material and waste in production processes. According to the recent emphasis on the ‘external’ factors stimulating innovation which often may be more important than the classic drivers, such as R&D, we address the role of local influences, such as policy environments and regional structural features. First, we analyse firms’ innovation adoption choices in a simplified technology adoption model augmented by discussions in the environmental innovation (EI) literature that rationalize the research hypotheses underlying empirical models. We frame our empirical analysis on an original integration of data from a firm survey (EU CIS2008 survey of manufacturing firms) and regional level waste related information obtained from Italian environmental agency waste reports. The EU CIS2008 was the first of these surveys to ask for information on EI adoption in the waste sector. Our econometric analysis shows that firms adopt EI on the basis of some relational factors, while drivers such as R&D have no impact. The evidence of our study supports the role of regional factors related to waste management and policy. For example, firms located in regions with better separated waste collection and waste tariff diffusion systems are more likely to adopt EI. Networking and agglomeration economies do not seem to have any effect.

Adoption of waste-reducing technology in manufacturing: Regional factors and policy issues

MAZZANTI, Massimiliano
Ultimo
2015

Abstract

We present a joint theoretical-empirical investigation to assess the adoption by manufacturing firms of innovations aimed at increasing recycling and, consequently, reducing the use of material and waste in production processes. According to the recent emphasis on the ‘external’ factors stimulating innovation which often may be more important than the classic drivers, such as R&D, we address the role of local influences, such as policy environments and regional structural features. First, we analyse firms’ innovation adoption choices in a simplified technology adoption model augmented by discussions in the environmental innovation (EI) literature that rationalize the research hypotheses underlying empirical models. We frame our empirical analysis on an original integration of data from a firm survey (EU CIS2008 survey of manufacturing firms) and regional level waste related information obtained from Italian environmental agency waste reports. The EU CIS2008 was the first of these surveys to ask for information on EI adoption in the waste sector. Our econometric analysis shows that firms adopt EI on the basis of some relational factors, while drivers such as R&D have no impact. The evidence of our study supports the role of regional factors related to waste management and policy. For example, firms located in regions with better separated waste collection and waste tariff diffusion systems are more likely to adopt EI. Networking and agglomeration economies do not seem to have any effect.
Cainelli, Giulio; D'Amato, Alessio; Mazzanti, Massimiliano
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