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Is China's industrial policy failing? An empirical study of the new energy vehicles industry

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Abstract

China's traditional automobile industry lags behind that of the developed countries, but the development of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) is an opportunity to catch up with the global automobile industry. In China, there has been a widespread attempt to “overtake on the curve” by developing cleaner technology for NEVs. To help with this transition, the Chinese government has introduced a large number of policies to promote the development of the NEV industry. In this study, we examined whether these policies have been effective by analyzing data about policies for China's NEV industry from 2006 to 2018, as well as the NEV patents filed in the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Korea, and China from 1988 to 2018. This paper uses quantitative analysis of policies and factor analysis. The results of the policy quantification regression analysis show that China's industrial policy has a significant influence on the number of patents. For example, China's aim to promote technological progress has been effective in developing an indigenous NEV industry, but whether China will succeed in “overtaking on the curve” is debatable. The current state of development of NEV patents does not show China to be a global leader in NEV technology. China's NEV industry policies should be further strengthened, especially the core policies on technological innovation.

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As China is faced with the double dilemmas of environmental pollution and energy security, new-energy vehicles (NEVs) come with high expectations, which need to be guided by an “invisible hand”. To analyse the optimal functioning power of policies and determine the direction of future policy implementation, this paper utilizes the COPA framework (i.e., analysis from four dimensions of contents, outlook, power, and authorities) to analyse policy evolution in respect of the new-energy vehicle industry (NEVI). In addition, a quantitative table of policy power is designed to construct the policy effects in various periods. Furthermore, this paper employs threshold model and quantile regression model to explore the threshold effect of policy power on the policy implementation effects and the transformation of policy implementation effects at different development stages, respectively. The results are as follows. (1) The Chinese NEVI policy continues to attach importance to government-guided consumption and government-supported technical development, with the major issuing form still being “notices”. Although “moderate” industrial policies are adopted as the main policies, the issuance strength has been rising periodically, and the functioning strength has been maintaining a steady rise year by year. The non-definition of the competent authorities is one of the key factors that affect the development of the NEVI. (2) The policy power has a significant threshold effect on its functioning strength. When the policy strength exceeds the threshold value of 69, the effect of the policy will nearly double; thus, to promote the technological innovation of NEVs, it is necessary to formulate high-intensity policies. (3) The effect of industrial policy will differ greatly at different development stages. Along with the gradual formation of market orientation of the NEVI, the effect of industrial policies has weakened gradually. Properly reducing the subsidy of NEVs will achieve the optimal allocation of government resources.
Article
China's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry, which survives with powerful policy intervention and fostering, is an important branch of Chinese green energy policy revolution against climate change and circumstance issues. In the study, the roadmap of China's policy exploration on developing China's NEV industry within the time window of 2001–2020 was investigated systematically. Powerful policy intervention plays an important role in initializing the framework of China's NEV industry under the comprehensive situation when China's innovation capability and automobile technology were both at unsatisfactory state. China's policy of developing NEV market demonstrates that intense government intervention is necessary and successful at the starting stage of the NEV industry. Delicate balance between governmental intervention and market self-adjustment should be intensified by suitable policies. The pilot innovations and the serious lessons of China's policy explorations are of both practical and research significance for other developing countries.
Article
This paper analyzes the determinants of renewable energy consumption in the panel data of 30 OECD countries for the period from 1970 to 2015. The unique role is given to the effect of economic globalization on renewable energy. We consider several measures of economic globalization and apply different econometric techniques. We find the positive impact of the per capita income, the per capita carbon dioxide emissions, and the real price of oil on renewable energy. Also, a higher level of economic globalization promotes renewable energy, and the evidence is robust to the different measures of economic globalization. In line with our findings, promoting the economic aspects of globalization will enhance renewable energy. Thus it can suppress the adverse effect of climate change and global warming on living human beings and natural habitats in the long-run. Therefore, we need to enhance our knowledge of how globalization promotes renewable energy not only for the OECD countries but also for other developing and developed economies. From a policy perspective, we suggest that policymakers and governments in OCED countries should consider economic globalization as a "renewable energy promoting mechanism" while designing their energy demand policy for the protection of natural environmental health.
Article
India is aggressively pursuing its renewable energy capacity expansion goals. Targeted policies such as Feed-in Tariff (FIT), Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) are introduced to stimulate renewable energy capacity expansion as well as generation. Currently, Indian power utilities treat RPO targets as a cost-burden, and therefore there is prevalence of non-compliance. Even other policies, such as FIT and RECs, in their present form, have failed to influence increase in renewable electricity supply. This has lead us to raise an important question whether these policies are adequate for building a cost-effective renewable energy-based low carbon electricity system for India. In this paper, we discuss the impact of above targeted policies in increasing the share of renewable electricity generation in the case of Karnataka State Electricity System. Various scenarios are developed and analysed using mixed-integer programming model to study the impacts. The results suggest that optimally managed FIT and REC schemes can provide opportunities for utilities to benefit from reduced costs. Overall, the above policies are inadequate, and introduction of market-based incentives, which expand the scope of trading in renewable energy certificates, are essential to achieve the desired objectives.
Article
Over the past century, Ireland's electricity sector has undergone a significant transformation. This paper documents the nation's struggle to build an electricity system, to improve security of electricity supply through portfolio diversification and to promote indigenous energy sources. This was a challenge for an (electrically) isolated island with little natural resources. The paper also identifies the ineffective policy decisions that left Ireland exposed to the 1970s energy crises. The crises did, however, provide a clear impetus for focusing Irish energy policy going forward. The successful deployment and integration of large-scale wind power was due to strong national and supranational policy decisions. In 2015, Ireland had the third highest wind energy share of national electricity demand (22.8%) of all IEA Wind Member Countries. The paper also traces Ireland's transition through market reform, regional fragmentation, and looks onwards to the EU internal market for electricity. In essence, this paper provides a holistic view of the implications of various policy decisions on the electricity sector along with the stresses of external factors on the electricity market and should be useful for policy makers elsewhere faced with similar decisions.
Article
New energy vehicles (NEVs) have important implications for traffic pollution management and energy consumption. A series of industrial incentive policies have been introduced to promote the development of the NEV industry. However, the actual effects of the policies do not come up to expectations. Aiming to analyze the relationship between the policy instruments and the market acceptance of NEVs, a consistent fuzzy preference relations model is proposed to evaluate the efficiency of policies on the NEV industry. The model introduces an assessment criteria system with three criterions (industry development, technology research and development (R&D), and NEV popularization). The quantitative weights of evaluation criteria are calculated by the fuzzy preference relation. The weights indicate the significance of the factors in the development of NEVs, especially when NEVs have not been widely accepted. With the proposed model, a case study in China shows that the policy of technology R&D is the most crucial for the NEV industry in China. The policy of NEV industry development, on the other hand, is equally important. The results are hoped to give a better understanding of the relationship between government policy instruments and NEV development, the measures for enhancing the policy efficiency of NEV development.
Article
The Chinese government initiated the Feed-In Tariff ("FIT") policy for downstream power generation in August 2013. The effectiveness of the downstream FIT policy has attracted the attention of academia and government. Using the quarterly data of listed solar PV companies between 2009 and 2015, this paper provides an empirical analysis regarding the effects of the downstream FIT policy. We find that (1) the FIT policy has significantly enhanced the inventory turnover of listed PV firms and improved their profitability; (2) the FIT policy has significant effects on the inventory turnover of midstream companies and mixed industry-chain companies mainly engaged in downstream operations; (3) FIT policy is more favorable towards increasing the inventory turnover of private enterprises. Our results indicate that the FIT policy can have substantial effects on the sustainable development of China's solar photovoltaic industry.
Article
Promoting Research and Development (R&D) and innovative activity is a key element of the EU Lisbon Agenda and is seen as playing a central part in stimulating economic development. In this paper we argue that, even allowing for benevolent policy-makers, informational asymmetries can lead to a misallocation of public support for R&D, hence government policy failure, with the potential to exacerbate preexisting market failures. Initially, we explore alternative allocation mechanisms for public support, which can help to minimize the scale of these government policy failures. Of these mechanisms (grants, tax credits, or allocation rules based on past performance), our results suggest that none is universally most efficient. Rather, the effectiveness of each allocation rule depends on the severity of financial constraints and on the level of innovative capabilities of the firms themselves.
Article
In this paper, we address the challenge of Germany’s energy transition (Energiewende) as the centrepiece of the country’s green industrial policy. In addition to creating a sustainable foundation for Germany’s energy supply and contributing to global climate change objectives, the Energiewende is intended to create a leading position for German industry in renewable energy technologies, boost innovative capabilities and create employment opportunities in future growth markets. The success in reaching these aims, and indeed the future of the entire concept, is fiercely debated. The paper aims to provide an up-to-date and balanced assessment of costs and benefits of renewable energy support measures. However, since costs and benefits can differ widely between targeted technologies, we compare solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy to illustrate critical elements of green industrial policy success. We find mixed evidence that Germany reaches its green industrial policy aims at reasonable costs. Wind energy seems to perform better against all policy objectives, while the solar PV sector has come under intense pressure from international competition. However, this is only a snapshot of current performance, and a dynamic and systemic perspective may nonetheless make the support of various renewable energy sources advisable.
Article
Scientific, technological, and economic data are investigated for 128 countries. A stepwise regression analysis is carried out on the data, using domestic patent counts as the dependent variable. The form of the regression equations is the Cobb-Douglas production function. The analysis shows that domestic patents (as indicator of national technological capacity, and treated here as the dependent variable) are closely related to GNP (a measure of national economic size), counts of scientific publications (an indicator of scientific capacity), and counts of national patents obtained in the U.S. (a measure of world class technological capacity). Together, these three independent variables account for more than 92 percent of the variance in the dependent variable.
Article
The process learning paradigm that underlies the total quality and continuous improvement movements is used to evaluate the policy recommendations of three of the nation's most influential thinkers on national competitiveness: Peter Drucker, Michael Porter and Robert Reich. A policy premised on “progressive knowledge” is proposed that uses several integrated programs to promote the market for design and manufacturing process research and training. The future of the United States depends on the ability of its economic enterprises to lead the world in their organizational learning capabilities. Organization learning is the nation's real bridge to the 21st Century.
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This paper discusses science and technology (S&T) reform in China by dividing the process into three stages, then explaining major policies and programs that play important roles in supporting reform. Through an analysis of the impact of S&T reform on national innovation systems (NIS) in China, we conclude that S&T reform has been effective in motivating universities and research institutes (URIs), building up the innovative capacities of enterprises, and promoting URI–industry linkages. We also point out that concerns remain about the S&T system in China, and the effects of S&T reform need to be further examined over the long run.
Article
  In the 1960s, the former Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) controlled key industries through its industrial policy. It is commonly believed that this policy was based on an economic rationale. In particular, the MITI justified what are known as recession cartels on the grounds that reducing production volume would prevent destructive competition. Our purpose is to go beyond this current economic understanding via a sociopsychological analysis. We focus on the so-called Sumitomo Metals incident of 1965 when the Sumitomo Metals Company refused to follow the MITI guideline demanding a reduction in steel production. This was the first such incident in which a private company explicitly refused to abide by MITI administrative guidance. We hold that the industrial policy was not necessarily based on an economic rationale. Sumitomo was alone enjoying profit while all other companies were suffering loss. The MITI and major steel manufacturers insisted, without economically sound reasoning, that Sumitomo should reduce its steel exports. On an economic basis, however, steel exports should have been promoted, not restricted, to counterbalance the domestic recession. The whole incident was a sociopsychological battle disguised as an economic debate, and the economic argument of the MITI and other steel manufacturers was actually an elaborate scheme of psychological rationalization. Their severe denouncement of Sumitomo is best explained by the psychological defense mechanisms of projection and displacement. Furthermore, the recession cartel in this case was essentially a ritual of collective suffering under the orchestration of state authority.
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This paper analyzes the relationship between current renewable energy technology costs and cumulative production, research, development and demonstration expenditures, and other institutional influences. Combining the theoretical framework of ‘learning by doing’ and developments in ‘learning by searching’ with the fields of organizational learning and institutional economics offers a complete methodological framework to examine the underlying capital cost trajectory when developing electricity cost estimates used in energy policy planning models. Sensitivities of the learning rates for global wind and solar photovoltaic technologies to changes in the model parameters are tested. The implications of the results indicate that institutional policy instruments play an important role for these technologies to achieve cost reductions and further market adoption.
Article
The role of geographically mediated knowledge externalities in regional innovation systems has become a major issue in research policy. Although the process of innovation is a crucial aspect of economic growth, the problem of measuring innovation has not yet been completely resolved. A central problem involved in such analysis is the measurement of economically useful new knowledge. In the US information on this has been limited to an innovation count data base. Determining the extent to which the innovation data can be substituted by other measures is essential for a deeper understanding of the dynamics involved. We provide an exploratory and a regression-based comparison of the innovation count data and data on patent counts at the lowest possible levels of geographical aggregation.
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This article examines the importance of national and sub-national policies in supporting the development of successful global wind turbine manufacturing companies. We explore the motivations behind establishing a local wind power industry, and the paths that different countries have taken to develop indigenous large wind turbine manufacturing industries within their borders. This is done through a cross-country comparison of the policy support mechanisms that have been employed to directly and indirectly promote wind technology manufacturing in 12 countries. We find that in many instances there is a clear relationship between a manufacturer's success in its home country market and its eventual success in the global wind power market. Whether new wind turbine manufacturing entrants are able to succeed will likely depend in part on the utilization of their turbines in their own domestic market, which in turn will be influenced by the annual size and stability of that market. Consequently, policies that support a sizable, stable market for wind power, in conjunction with policies that specifically provide incentives for wind power technology to be manufactured locally, are most likely to result in the establishment of an internationally competitive wind industry.
Article
The use of R&D grants as a policy instrument has been motivated by economic arguments of market failure. Neo-classical econometric studies have analysed the additionality of one Euro of subsidies on both the investments of companies in the R&D process and the output of that R&D process. More recently, behavioural additionality has been launched as a third form of additionality. In contrast to input and output additionality, behavioural additionality is related to changes in the processes that take place within the firm. In this paper, we analyse the determinants of the behavioural additionality of R&D grants. To explain the mechanism through which behavioural additionality is obtained, we use organizational learning theory as a guide to formulate our hypotheses. Hypotheses are tested using a telephone survey of 192 recipients of R&D grants provided by the IWT in Flanders in 2001–2004, matched to a sample of 84 firms that undertake innovation activities but which had never had a grant bid accepted. We find that congenital learning and interorganizational learning lead to increased behavioural additionality. However, these learning effects decrease with the number of subsidized projects that are undertaken by the company.
Article
Patent statistics are a frequently used innovation indicator for the description and analysis of technological strengths and weaknesses, both on the macro and the micro level. Patent data has a broad coverage, high reliability, allows a very differentiated perspective and the data has become easier in availability and accessibility. Especially when cross country comparisons and comparative assessments are intended, a deep knowledge and understanding of patent systems is required. In the 1990s Triadic patents, which were able to balance the home advantage of domestic applicants/inventors. An increasing internationalisation and globalisation makes it also necessary to adapt the patent analyses to this new world order. In this paper the so called Transnational patents are suggested, which allows to grasp the new relations and relative positions between the industrialised, industrialising and emerging countries. The existing concepts are presented and discussed and contrasted against the concept of Transnational Patents.
In this paper we analyze whether and how "research" and "development" subsidies influence private R&D activity. Our empirical results show that "research" subsidies stimulate R&D spending within firms while "development" subsidies substitute such spending. At the theoretical level we find empirical support for the market failure argument that private R&D expenditure is best stimulated in areas where the gap between the social and the private rate of return to R&D is high. A policy implication is that technology programs should support research projects in the private sector in order to stimulate to more R&D.
Article
This paper explores the usage of various industrial policy tools in Japan. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the authors find that a disproportionate amount of Japanese targeting occurred in low-growth sectors and sectors with decreasing returns to scale. In addition, they find no evidence that productivity was enhanced as a result of industrial policy measures. Copyright 1996 by MIT Press.
Article
This Viewpoint examines data on international trends in energy research and development (R&D) funding, patterns of U.S. energy technology patents and R&D funding, and U.S. R&D intensities across selected sectors. The data present a disturbing picture: (i) Energy technology funding levels have declined significantly during the past two decades throughout the industrial world; (ii) U.S. R&D spending and patents, both overall and in the energy sector, have been highly correlated during the past two decades; and (iii) the R&D intensity of the U.S. energy sector is extremely low. It is argued that recent cutbacks in energy R&D are likely to reduce the capacity of the energy sector to innovate. The trends are particularly troubling given the need for increased international capacity to respond to emerging risks such as global climate change.
Article
It is commonly argued that Japanese trade protection has enabled the nurturing and development internationally competitive firms. The results in our paper suggest that when it comes to TFP growth, this view of Japan is seriously erroneous. We find that lower tariffs and higher import volumes would have been particularly beneficial for Japan during the period 1964 to 1973. Our results also lead us to question whether Japanese exports were a particularly important source of productivity growth. Our findings on Japan suggest that the salutary impact of imports stems more from their contribution to competition than to intermediate inputs. Furthermore our results indicate a reason for why imports are important. Greater imports of competing products spur innovation. Our results suggest that competitive pressures and potentially learning from foreign rivals are important conduits for growth. These channels are even more important as industries converge with the market leader. This suggests that further liberalization by Japan and other East Asian countries may result in future dynamic gains. Our results thus call the views of both the World Bank and the revisionists into question and provide support for those who advocate more liberal trade policies.
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This paper investigates the impact of government industrial policy and trade protection of the manufacturing sector in Korea. Empirical results are provided, using 4-period panel data for the years 1963-83, for 38 Korean industries in which trade protection reduced growth rates of labor productivity and total factor productivity, while industrial policies, such as tax incentives and subsidized credit, were not correlated with total factor productivity growth in the promoted sectors. The evidence, thus, implies that less government intervention in trade is linked to higher productivity growth.
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This lecture surveys recent models of growth and trade in search of descriptions of technologies that are consistent with episodes of very rapid income growth. Emphasis is placed on the on-the-job accumulation of human capital: learning by doing. Possib le connections between learning rates and international trade are discussed Copyright 1993 by The Econometric Society.
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We analyse the determinants of the decline in research productivity using panel data on manufacturing firms in the US for the period 1980-93. We focus on three factors: the level of demand, the quality of patents and technological exhaustion. We develop an index of patent 'quality' using detailed patent information and show that using multiple indicators substantially reduces the measured variance in quality. Research productivity at the firm level is inversely related to patent quality and the level of demand, as predicted by theory and patent quality is positively associated with the stock market value of firms. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.
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