Research

Work in Progress

  • Green Innovation in Production Networks: Empirical Evidence from the Auto Industry.
    with Marion Dumas (Grantham Institute).

  • Induced Innovation, Inventors, and the Energy Transition.
    with Todd Gerarden (Cornell University).

  • From AI to Green: Can Spillovers Accelerate the Green Transition?
    with Marion Dumas (Grantham Institute) and Pia Andres (Grantham Institute).

Working Papers

  • Induced Innovation and International Environmental Agreements: Evidence from the Ozone Regime.
    Pdf here | Supporting Online Materials here

    Abstract
    Can international environmental agreements induce innovation on green technologies? Noncooperative game theory suggests that agreements only occur when costs to the players are low. This likely happens once technological solutions are available. Agreements then may help diffuse technologies rather than fostering their development. I provide the first quantitative evidence that the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer triggered a large increase in research and innovation on alternatives to ozone-depleting molecules. To do this, I use a DiD design to compare innovation and scientific output related to different molecules. I leverage the full text of patents and scientific articles and apply machine learning-based methods to construct molecule-level chemical and industrial characteristics. My results challenge the view that agreements foster technological diffusion without affecting much of the dynamics of innovation and bear critical implications for how we think about environmental agreements.

  • Green Product Innovation in Industrial Networks: A Theoretical Model.
    with Marion Dumas (Grantham Institute).
    Revise&Resubmit at the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
    Pdf here

    Abstract
    Previous studies have typically modeled green technological change as innovations in the process through which goods are produced (e.g., abatement technologies or energy sources). But greening the economy also requires changing the products that we use. The automotive industry, for example, needs to deploy large fleets of electric or hydrogen-based vehicles. Product manufacturing nowadays occurs within supply-chain networks, and developing new products typically requires complementary investments by suppliers. In this paper, we study the incentives for green product innovation in industrial networks and how policies can affect them. We follow the industrial organization theory of product differentiation, and model green product innovations as upgrades in product quality where inputs from suppliers are essential for upgrading quality. We show that suppliers can be innovation bottlenecks and render policy instruments less effective. An extension of the model introduces uncertainty in the direction of technological change. Here, we provide an explicit mechanism for the role of institutions that can help actors coordinate on a long-term direction of innovation. Finally, we discuss how our results help organize several findings from case studies in the automotive industry.

  • Learning from Unincentivized and Incentivized Communication: A Randomized Controlled Trial in India.
    with Yonas Alem (University of Gothenburg).
    Conditionally Accepted at the Journal of Economic Development and Cultural Change
    Pdf here

    Abstract
    Interactions among peers of the same social network play significant roles in facilitating adoption and diffusion of modern technologies in poor communities. We conduct a large-scale randomized controlled trial in rural India to identify the impact of information from friends on willingness to pay (WTP) for high-quality and multi-purpose solar lanterns. We offered solar lanterns to seed households from 200 non-electrified villages and randomly assigned three of their friends to two communication treatments (unincentivized and incentivized) that led them to different exposure to their seed friend. We also introduce a second treatment to investigate whether the seed’s gender identity impacts the magnitude of peer effects. We show that, while unincentivized communication increases WTP for solar lanterns by 90% and incentivized communication by 145%, gender doesn’t seem to matter. We also show that learning from others is the mechanism that drives the increase in WTP.

Other Publications

  • Dugoua, Eugenie, Ryan Kennedy, and Johannes Urpelainen. “Satellite data for the social sciences: measuring rural electrification with night-time lights.” International journal of remote sensing 39, no. 9 (2018): 2690-2701.

  • Dugoua, Eugenie, Ruinan Liu, and Johannes Urpelainen. “Geographic and socio-economic barriers to rural electrification: New evidence from Indian villages.” Energy Policy 106 (2017): 278-287.

  • Dugoua, Eugenie, and Johannes Urpelainen. “Relative deprivation and energy poverty: when does unequal access to electricity cause dissatisfaction?” International Journal of Energy Research 38, no. 13 (2014): 1727-1740.

Teaching

I have served as a teaching assistant for the following courses:

  • Economic Development (Miguel Urquiola) Spring 2017
  • Growth and Economic Development (Xavier Sala-i-Martin) Fall 2016
  • Challenges of Sustainable Development (Jeffrey Sachs) Spring 2015
  • State and Society in the Developping World (Victoria Murillo) Fall 2014
  • Political Economy of Development (Chris Blattman) Spring 2014
  • Energy Economics (Gernot Wagner) Fall 2013

Textbook companions for The Age of Sustainable Development:

Over the summer 2015, I created a series of textbook companions for The Age of Sustainable Development for Jeffrey Sachs. The companions are freely available here.