The goal of this article is to better understand the diffusion of environmentally preferable manufacturing technology (as distinct from pollution control technology) in small-and medium-sized firms (SMEs) and the influence of technical assistance programs on the diffusion of these technologies. The authors draw their insights from the printing industry, a sector where small firms predominate. They find that smaller firms lag slightly in the adoption of environmental technologies. With regard to technical assistance, they find that printers identify suppliers and other industry sources as more useful than government in providing information that leads to active exploration of new environmental technologies. In addition, in comparison to larger firms, smaller firms reported to be less familiar with government-sponsored programs and perceived some of the programs to be less useful. They point to several ways in which regulatory agencies are experimenting to make government sponsored programs more effective.

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