How do domestic attributes affect international spillovers of CO2-efficiency?

Working Paper 8


Although there is evidence that CO2-efficiency enhancing innovations in one country diffuse into other countries to contribute to the goals of climate change mitigation, very little is known about the conditions under which such international spillovers are most likely to take place.

Our contribution is to address this gap by examining whether the strength of cross-border CO2-efficiency interdependence, working through import ties and inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks, is greater in:

  • countries with lower existing levels of domestic CO2-efficiency;
  • and countries with greater social capabilities, in terms of a better educated workforce and a less risky institutional environment for investment.

We find that less CO2-efficient countries and countries, with a more investment-friendly institutional environment, experience stronger FDI-weighted CO2-efficiency spillovers; whereas a higher level of human capital increases domestic receptivity to import-weighted international spillovers.

Richard Perkins and Eric Neumayer