Diffusion Processes of Eco-Innovations

An Agent-Based Approach





eco-innovation, diffusion, technological paradigm, structural change, heterogeneity


The article discusses product market hindrances for structural change towards an ecologically sustainable economic system. An agent-based model is presented which simulates an economy affected by path dependencies and lock-in effects. A new environmentally friendly product enters this market and tries to break the technological paradigm of a pollutive production technology. Consumers can influence this process of structural change via their consumption decision which depends on an assessment of products by means of spatial, social, economic, and ecological criteria. Simulations show how the model results, namely the speed of adoption and the level of pollution over time, are influenced by heterogeneous and homogeneous consumption preferences.


Cecere, Grazia; Corrocher, Nicoletta; Gossart, Cédric; Ozman, Muge (2014): Lock-in and Path Dependence: An Evolutionary Approach to Eco-innovations. In: Journal of Evolutionary Economics 24 (5), S. 1037–1065. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00191-014-0381-5

Hotelling, Harold (1929): Stability in Competition. In: The Economic Journal 39 (153), S. 41–57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2224214

Kiesling, Elmar; Günther, Markus; Stummer, Christian; Wakolbinger, Lea (2012): Agent-Based Simulation of Innovation Diffusion: A Review. In: Central European Journal of Operations Research 20 (2), S. 183–230. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10100-011-0210-y

Oltra, Vanessa; Saint Jean, Maïder (2009): Sectoral Systems of Environmental Innovation: An Application to the French Automotive Industry. In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 76 (4), S. 567–583. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2008.03.025

Ozaki, Ritsuko (2011): Adopting Sustainable Innovation: What Makes Consumers Sign Up to Green Electricity? In: Business Strategy and the Environment 20 (1), S. 1–17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.650

Rennings, Klaus (2000): Redefining Innovation: Eco-Innovation Research and the Contribution from Ecological Economics. In: Ecological Economics 32 (2), S. 319–332. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(99)00112-3

Rogers, Everett M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press.

Windrum, Paul; Ciarli, Tommaso; Birchenhall, Chris (2009): Consumer Heterogeneity and the Development of Environmentally Friendly Technologies. In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change 76 (4), S. 533–551. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2008.04.011



How to Cite

Lewalder F. Diffusion Processes of Eco-Innovations: An Agent-Based Approach. TATuP [Internet]. 2017 Dec. 18 [cited 2023 Nov. 30];26(3):30-6. Available from: https://www.tatup.de/index.php/tatup/article/view/63