On the Economic Returns of Eco-Innovation: Where Do We Stand?

  • Claudia GhisettiEmail author
Part of the Sustainability and Innovation book series (SUSTAINABILITY)


The aim of the Chapter is to provide an overview on where we stand in terms of research and main findings on eco-innovations and their economic effects. Many theoretical and empirical contributions have tried to answer the question “Does it pay to be green?”, and a variety of heterogeneous answers have been given to date. For instance, it is found to depend on who gets rewards, on where it can pay, on how it pays and on the typologies of innovations under scrutiny.

The Chapter summarizes the available contributions assessing the economic performance effects of improvements in the environmental performances at various levels of analysis. Economic performance is either conceived through short-term measures, such as profitability, or longer term competitiveness measures, such as productivity. Later, it provides new empirical evidence on economic effects of eco-innovations using panel data from the Community Innovation Surveys on selected European countries and sectors.



The author wishes to thank Klaus Rennings for the great contribution he gave to this scientific community and, personally, for the precious knowledge share and interactions he held with the author. The work has been done while the author worked at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The scientific output expressed does not imply a policy position of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of this publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Unit I.1, Modelling, Indicators & Impact EvaluationIspraItaly

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