Innovation, the diesel engine and vehicle markets

25 February 2014

Transportation Research

Authors: David Bonilla, Justin D.K. Bishop, Colin J. Axon, David Banister 1361-9209/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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This paper uses a patent data set to identify factors fostering innovation of diesel engines between 1974 and 2010 in the OECD region. The propensity of engine producers to innovate grew by 1.9 standard deviations after the expansion of the car market, by 0.7 standard deviations following a shift in the EU fuel economy standard, and by 0.23 standard deviations. The propensity to develop emissions control techniques was positively influenced by pollution control laws introduced in Japan, in the US, and in the EU, but not with the expansion of the car market. Furthermore, a decline in loan rates stimulated the propensity to develop emissions control techniques, which were simultaneously crowded out by increases in publicly-funded transport research and development. Innovation activities in engine efficiency are explained by market size, loan rates and by (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) diesel prices, inclusive of taxes. Price effects on innovation, outweigh that of the US corporate average fuel economy standards. Innovation is also positively influenced by past transport research and development.