DP16840 Science as Civil Society: Implications for a Green Transition

Author(s): Timothy J. Besley, Torsten Persson
Publication Date: December 2021
Keyword(s): Civil society, green innovation, Motivated agents
JEL(s): D91, L23, O31
Programme Areas: Development Economics, Political Economy
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16840

When scientists care about how they deploy their skills, this influences the relative cost of innovating in green sectors. We study the effects of motivated science in a simple model, where innovation is directed towards green or brown sectors with the latter polluting the environment. Innovation thus determines the relative growth rate for green goods. When we combine the resulting innovation dynamics with cultural dynamics among consumers, the influence of science is extended further. It can now increase the speed of convergence to a green future and may even change the direction of a society's path. Key activities that are (partly) value driven may thus be an important aspect of market economies.