Introduction: evolutionary methodologies for analyzing environmental innovations and the implications for environmental policy
It is commonly recognized that environmental innovations provide an important key to sustainability. However, the two dominant approaches within environmental economics – neoclassical and ecological economics – have found it difficult to develop a systematic research program on environmental innovation. From the 1980s evolutionary economics emerged as a framework for analysing analyzing and understanding economic change and industrial dynamics. Evolutionary economic theory provides a dynamic framework, where differential patterns of survival in populations produce aggregate changes in an economy. From the mid-1990s onwards, evolutionary economics emerged as a promising alternative for the economic analysis of environmental innovations. More recently, scholars have started to develop formal evolutionary models in environmental studies. These efforts reflect a further deepening of the evolutionary program in the area of environmental studies, which opens up possibilities for applications in environmental policy-making.
The goal of this special issue is to provide an overview of evolutionary approaches to environmental innovation with a focus on formal modeling. We consider the recent modeling efforts as a next step towards a truly “evolutionary environmental economics”. Such an approach provides policymakers with an alternative perspective on environmental policy, emphasizing the dynamic welfare effects of policy, the dangers of technological lock-in , co-evolutionary perspectives on technical change, consumer preferences and long-term transition policy, often (but not exclusively) by means of scenario analysis or dynamic simulation models. This puts the evolutionary perspective as complementary to neoclassical policy insights that are highly appropriate for well-defined, short-term problem contexts and to ecological policy insights into the management of material flows.
|Author(s)||Frenken K ; Faber A|
|Publication||Technol Forecast Soc Change 2009; 76:449-52|