Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 261–288

Resolving failures in recycling markets: the role of technological innovation

  • Francesco Nicolli
  • Nick Johnstone
  • Patrik Söderholm
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10018-012-0031-9

Cite this article as:
Nicolli, F., Johnstone, N. & Söderholm, P. Environ Econ Policy Stud (2012) 14: 261. doi:10.1007/s10018-012-0031-9


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.


Solid waste Recycling Market failure Technological innovation 

JEL Classification

Q53 Q55 Q58 

Copyright information

© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Nicolli
    • 1
  • Nick Johnstone
    • 2
  • Patrik Söderholm
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.OECD Environment DirectorateParisFrance
  3. 3.Economics UnitLuleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden

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