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Listed here are descriptions of papers that are currently available, by year and theses of graduate students affiliated with MIT whose research relates to topics of environmental technology and policy. Papers marked with a red asterisk (*) are under development:

2008 2004 | 2001 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | Graduate Theses


Purchasing Papers
Simply indicate the number of copies of each paper you would like to receive in the box on the right and fill in the shipping information at the bottom of this page. Once your order is confirmed, your papers will be shipped within 28 days by USPS. An invoice will be included with your shipment. Your order should be confirmed by email, within 48 hours.

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Public Entrepreneurship Networks by David Laws, Lawrence Susskind, James Abrams, Jonna Anderson, Genette Chapman, Emily Rubenstein, Jaisel Vadagama.
Public Entrepreneurship Networks are complex inter-organisational networks in which public, private and civic actors jointly promote innovation, meet regulatory goals and bring environmentally friendly technologies into broader social use. These Networks respond to shortfalls in existing forms of regulation and constitute a new form of governance, characterized by interaction, shared responsibility and a capacity for learning and development. Click here to view the Table of Contents and Introduction to this work in PDF format.

ETP01-01 Price: $3.00



Creating Incentives for Environmentally Enhancing Technological Change: Lessons from 30 Years of U.S. Energy Technology Policy by Vicki Norberg-Bohm
Due to the externalities associated with energy production and consumption, public policy is necessary to provide a stimulus for the development and diffusion of more environmentally sound energy technologies. Based on an in depth history of technological development for four electric power technologies, this paper draws lessons for the design of future policies to promote innovation in energy technologies. The technologies examined are: wind turbines, photovoltaics, gas turbines, and atmospheric fluidized bed coal. The analysis considers both supply-push and demand-pull approaches for stimulating technological change. It concludes that a key dilemma in government activities to promote environmentally enhancing technological development is the ability to effectively coordinate the use of supply-push and demand-pull policies during the period spanning pre-commercialization, first commercial use and lead adoption.

ETP99-01 Price: $3.00


Seeking Operational Flexibility and Pollution Prevention Under Title V of the Clean Air Act: EPA's P4 Program by Michael Crow, Amy Pfeiffer, and Lawrence Susskind

This paper features case studies of three companies that have participated in the EPA's P4 program, a new program intended to support operational flexibility while still encouraging pollution prevention. The success of P4 is analyzed by looking at the firms' previous performance under P2 (pollution prevention) programs, their pursuit of innnovative practices to reduce stationary sources of air pollution, and flexibility of the regulatory and administrative requirements. The analysis relies on interviews with representatives of the Agency, private companies, permitting authorities, and facilitators. The paper concludes that firms already engaged innovatively under P2 are advantaged by regulatory streamlining of P4, but additional steps, such as mandating P2 provisions for the states to prevent interstate competition, are necessary to achieve the objectives of EPA's P4.

Order #: ETP99-02 Price: $3.00


Production and Organizational Learning: Towards A New Orientation for Environmental Policy by Steven M. Lanou and David Laws

This paper investigates the efficacy of orienting environmental policy to promote organizational development and long-term competence in industrial environmental management. Through an investigation of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) as an alternative policy approach, the paper explores the effects of policy on promoting organizational learning in the Massachusetts printed wiring board industry. Findings suggest that environmental policy can effectively influence environmental management practices within firms to advance policy objectives. Through applying a mix of policy instruments, including command and control, market, and voluntary mechanisms, TURA was able to alter firms' learning systems to promote sustained organizational learning and development. The paper concludes with suggestions for amplifying policies' influence on promoting organizational learning. For existing policies such as TURA to remain effective, it is imperative that they also engage in processes which promote innovation and learning. To expand learning opportunities within firms, policy approaches should encourage the adoption of firm-wide environmental management systems.

Order #: ETP99-03 Price: $3.00


Policies to Implement Renewable Energy Technologies within Electricity Restructuring: Analysis of the System Benefits Charge by Karlynn S. Cory and Vicki Norberg-Bohm forthcoming

Electric industry restructuring in the United States is changing the way renewable energy technologies are supported. This paper examines how the system benefits charge (SBC), effectively an electricity consumption tax, can help financially support renewable electricity technologies until they become cost-competitive on their own. Using wind turbine projects in Massachusetts as an example, both investment and production incentives are considered. The paper concludes that the Massachusetts SBC will provide substantial funds for renewable energy project development and could be used to significantly increase the wind capacity that exists in the world. The paper also concludes that non-fiscal programs, like wind resource characterization, should decrease the size of incentive required and therefore increase the amount of renewables purchased by financial subsidy programs.

Order #: ETP99-04 Price: $3.00


The Changing Ecological Arena: The Evolution of Dutch Environmental Policy from 1970 - 2000 (and Beyond) by Gerard Keijzers forthcoming

Order #: ETP99-05 Price: $3.00



Mechanisms for Clean Energy Development: Determinants of Success in North-South Energy Efficiency Programs in Mexico by Vicki Norberg-Bohm and Judy Harper

This paper analyzes recent experience with financial and technology transfer projects aimed at promoting energy efficiency in Mexico. The paper draws conclusions about the factors leading to effective technology transfer programs and examines the implications of the conclusions for the design of CDM.

Order #: ETP98-01 Price: $3.00


Leveling Uncertainty: The Case of Union Carbide and USEPA's New Chemicals Program by Amy Pfeiffer and Lawrence Susskind

Union Carbide Corporation is the first company to enter into a voluntary memorandum of understanding with EPA under the New Chemicals Program. This paper explores these government-industry partnerships and the use of informal rather than formal regulatory procedures in the chemicals industry. It examines the advantages to government of allowing industry to act voluntarily, and the reaction to this flexible process by environmental and community groups.

Order #: ETP98-02 Price: $3.00


Public Policy and Energy Technology Innovation: Lessons Learned from the Development of Coal Combustion in Fluidized Bed in the U.S. by Santiago Banales and Vicki Norberg-Bohm

This paper analyses the role of public policy in the development of fluidized bed combustion in the United States. The paper describes the technical evolution and the commercial development of the technology and the public policies implemented since 1965. After the description of the technology and the policies, the paper analyzes the public role in the development of fluidized bed, concluding that the appropriate combination of supply-push and demand-pull policies were the key of the relative success of fluidized bed in the non-utility sector. Taking into account the lessons learned from the development of fluidized bed, the paper suggests policy recommendations for the development of new generations of clean coal technologies.

Order #: ETP98-03 Price: $3.00


Photovoltaics in the Developing World: Examining the Market and Policies to Expand the Market by Annika Lundgren and Vicki Norberg-Bohm forthcoming

International funder organizations are expressing a renewed interest in designing electrification projects for developing countries that utilize renewable energy technologies, focused on providing loans to retailers, credit to consumers, and training and information to retailers and banks to encourage their particpation. This paper assesses the effectiveness of the current generation of renewable energy programs, developed by the World Bank Group, the US Agency for International Development, and the US Department of Energy, in fostering the development of a private market for solar photovoltaics in developing countries. It identifies eight barriers to market development that discourage retailers, consumers, and financial institutions from particpating in the market. The paper concludes that several barriers must still be overcome, including the degree to which the national government will influence market development, the extent to which financial institutions can assess the viability of the market and issue loans, and the ability for retailers to use sound business practices. The success of these programs is measured by how much they impact the size of the market and the extent to which they can lower the cost of solar photovoltaic systems.

Order #: ETP98-04 Price: $3.00



Stimulating "Green" Technological Innovation: An Analysis of Alternative Policy Mechanisms by Vicki Norberg-Bohm

This paper explores how to design public policy mechanisms to stimulate rather than impede pollution-preventing technological innovation. It begins with a discussion of the role of government in civilian technology development and diffusion, sets out six design criteria for policy to promote "green" technology innovation, and assesses the potential and limitations of current U.S. policy approaches to stimulate technological innovation which moves us toward a minimal waste society.

Order #: ETP97-01 Price: $3.00


The Risks and Advantages of Agency Discretion: Evidence from EPA's Project XL by Lawrence Susskind, Joshua Secunda, and Gabriela Krockmalnic

This paper explores the importance of administrative discretion in encouraging innovative approaches to environmental compliance. It examines the role that "informal discretion" has played in programs like Project XL and the Common Sense Initiative, and the degree to which the concept has been stretched in attempting to negotiate these projects with the private sector. We suggest that a more aggressively flexible approach to administrative discretion may be vital to EPA's attempts to garner further innovative proposals from the regulated community.

Order #: ETP97-02 Price: $5.00


Improving Project XL: Helping Adaptive Management to Work within EPA by Joshua Secunda and Lawrence Susskind

This paper expands on arguments put forward in "The Risks and Advantages of Agency Discretion: Evidence from EPA's Project XL". It offers up strategies designed to succeed without statutory reform or other 'sea changes' to the existing framework of Project XL.

Order #: ETP97-02a Price: $2.00


Intellectual Property Rights, Conservation, and Equity: A Pharmaceutical Case Study by Analia Penchaszadeh and Omar Razazz

The literature on conservation of biodiversity has recognized the importance of protecting habitats and environments in addition to gene-pools. Pharmaceutical companies have identified possible market value for medicinal plants and have been patenting compounds and extracts in the search for and development of new drugs. There are now efforts to recognize the intellectual property of those who have used these medicinal plants and whose traditional knowledge leads to the development of marketable drugs. Through a series of case studies of the biotech industry, this paper explores common property institutions and the development of intellectual property rights to genetic resources.

Order #: ETP97-04 Price: $3.00


A Review of Three State Initiatives to Encourage the Use of Innovative Environmental Technologies by Coralie Cooper and Lawrence Susskind forthcoming

The emergence of state efforts to spur commercialization and use of environmental products, goods and services is rooted in several areas: 1) innovative technologies can help solve environmental problems while reducing costs, 2) in helping with the commercialization and export of technologies, states can spur a growing industry, and 3) states want to stay ahead of and possibly shape federal environmental regulations. This paper presents a comparative analysis of three states' programs to encourage the introduction of innovative technologies. The paper focuses specifically on efforts to introduce flexibility into the regulatory systems in those states.

Order #: ETP97-05 Price: $5.00


The Power of Incrementalism: Environmentally Induced Technological Change in the Pulp and Paper Industry by Mark Rossi and Vicki Norberg-Bohm

This paper examines the motivations of US kraft pulp and paper firms to develop and implement pollution prevention technology innovations in a situation where the economic benefits are equivocal, but the environmental benefits are clear. Conclusions drawn from a parallel study of mature industry and policy trends suggest that innovation in policy design and implementation is needed to move toward the goal of a "zero-waste" society. At the heart of these innovations must be the ability to set longer-term goals or standards which can provide incentives for continual environmental improvement.

Order #: ETP97-06 Price: $5.00


The Impact of Electricity Deregulation on the Viability of Renewable Resource Projects by Cherie Abbanat with Paul Levy

This paper evaluates the competitiveness of a wind power generating facility assuming a deregulated New England electric supply market in order to determine (1) what role, if any, government should assume in promoting wind technologies, and (2) what level and type of subsidy, if any, is appropriate for renewable resources.

Order #: ETP97-07 Price: $3.00


Technological Change and Public Policy: A Case Study of the Wind Energy Industry by Jeff Loiter with Vicki Norberg-Bohm

A case study of the wind energy industry in the United States from both a technology and policy perspective. Conclusions about the success or failure of past policies are drawn, informed by the literature on technological change theories. Recommendations for future policy are made based on past experience, current economic conditions and policy choices, and technological change theory.

Order #: ETP97-08 Price: $5.00


Graduate Theses


Masters and Doctoral theses submitted to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT

Listed below are titles of theses that include thorough and relevant treatments of many topics related to those on which the ETPP focuses its efforts. Click on the titles to view the thesis abstracts in PDF format. Theses are stored in the MIT libraries. Copies are available at


"The Role of Research Scientists in Adaptive Management Programs" by Steven R. Lenard


"Learning From Venture Capital: Procurement Programs as a Way to Promote Innovation" by James M. Abrams

"Realizing Global Environmental Objectives through Local Environmental Initiatives: The Incentives behind Stakeholder Participation in Forest Carbon Sequestration Projects" by Xantha Bruso

"Street Science: The Fusing of Local and Professional Knowledge in Environmental Policy" by Jason Corburn

"Electric Vehicle Technology in Kathmandu, Nepal: A Closer Look at its Development" by Sushila Maharjan

"Degradation Despite Regulation: Water Pollution in Billings Basin, Sao Paulo, Brazil" by Ana Laura Wey Martz Nogueira

"¡No Al Aeropuerto en Texcoco! Regional Decision-Making and Community Countermobilization: The Siting of Mexico City's New Airport" by Christina Davis Rosan

"Casting Environmental Governance: The Evolution of Regulatory Relationships in the Wisconsin Foundry Industry" by Emily C. Rubenstein

"Remediation of Place: The Role of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Designing Reuse at Superfund Sites" by Carol Goldsberry Tucker

"An Ecological Assessment of Roxbury" by Jesse Daniel Williamson


"The Greening of Community Development: An Analysis of Ecological Restoration and Neighborhood Planning in the Fenway" by Trisha Miller

"Household-Level Point-of-Use Water Filtration in Haiti: Strategies for Program Management and Sustainability" by Farzana S. Mohamed

"Sustainable Economic Development: The Case of Implementing Industrial Ecology" by Shanna E. Wasserman


"A Hydrogen Fueling Station in 2005 - Will it Happen? How do we get from Here to There?" by Jane E. Brydges

"Strategic Policy Approaches to Technological Development for Sustainability: The Role of Consensus Building and Experimentation" by Sophia S. M. Chong

"Industrial Ecology of Metals: Barriers and Incentives to Closing Loops" by Jeffrey MacDonagh-Dumler

"Implementing Environmental Policies in Developing Countries: Responding to the Environmental Impacts of Tourism Development by Creating Environmentally Protected Areas in Bahia, Brazil" by Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira

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