Green innovation and income inequality: A complex system analysis

Lorenzo Napolitano, Angelica Sbardella, Davide Consoli, Nicolò Barbieri, François Perruchas
Structural Change and Economic Dynamics

The objective of this paper is to analyse the relationship between income inequality and environmental innovation. We use the Economic Fitness and Complexity algorithm to compute an index of green inventive capacity in a panel of 57 countries over the period 1970–2010. The empirical analysis reveals that, on average, inequality is detrimental to countries’ capacity to engage complex green technologies knowledge bases. Using non-parametric methods allows us to further articulate this general finding and to uncover interesting non-linearities in the relationship between innovation and inequality.