February 6, 2011

The Porter Hypothesis at 20: Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?

by Stefan Ambec, Mark A Cohen, Stewart Elgie and Paul Lanoie

- Over the past 20 years, much has been written about what has since become known simply as the Porter Hypothesis (PH). Yet even today, we find conflicting evidence and alternative theories that might explain the PH, and oftentimes a misunderstanding of what the PH does and does not say. This paper provides an overview of the key theoretical and empirical insights into the PH to date, draws policy implications from these insights, and sketches out major research themes going forward.

Ambec, S., M.A. Cohen, S. Elgie and P. Lanoie (2011). "The Porter Hypothesis at 20: Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?" RFF Discussion Paper 11-01, Jan 2011.