Policy approaches to eco-innovation

Policy approaches to eco-innovation

InstructorEmanuela Bozzini
PeriodSecond semester
Length (h)6

Course Objectives

Governments have a crucial role to play in the effort to foster innovation and promote sustainable green development. The module will explore three among the most relevant policy tools at disposal of public authorities. First, government can use policy expenditures – like for example subsidies to solar energy – to incentivize the adoption of green practices. Second, governments can facilitate the diffusion of green practices among individuals and communities by promoting policy learning. Third, government can structure consumption choices to nudge citizens towards green innovation. Each policy tool presents advantages and disadvantages and should be carefully designed and implemented to deliver eco-innovation. The module will illustrate and discuss trade-offs among policy tools on the basis of empirical examples and case studies.

Course Content Summary

Introduction: the role of government in the promotion of eco-innovation

Policy tools for green innovation:

  • Policy expenditures: green subsidies
  • Policy Learning: sharing green innovations
  • Nudging individuals towards green behaviour

Teaching methods

Lectures and teamwork


  • Carter, N. (2007) “Policy Instruments and implementation” in “The Politics of the Environment. Ideas, activism, policy”, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 12 pp. 321-352.
  • Thaler, R. and Sunstein, C. (2009) “Saving the planet”, in “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness”, Chapter 12

Additional empirical material will be provided