, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 261-288
Date: 22 Feb 2012

Resolving failures in recycling markets: the role of technological innovation

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Abstract

In addition to environmental externalities, markets for recyclable materials are affected by other market barriers and failures. These include imperfect and asymmetric information and technological and consumption externalities. In this paper we review the nature of such failures and how they may affect markets for certain recyclable materials. We then discuss how such failures can be overcome (in part) by technological innovation, and present evidence on trends in patented inventions drawing upon a rich database of patent applications. And finally, we provide an econometric investigation on the role of policy measures in inducing innovation in two areas—plastic packaging and end-of-life-vehicle waste.