Environmental Jobs and Growth in the United States

December 2016
Robert J.R Elliott, Joanne K. Lindley
Ecological Economics (Elsevier)

Green growth is increasingly being seen as a means of simultaneously meeting current and future climate change obligations and reducing unemployment. This paper uses detailed industry-level data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic's Green Goods and Services survey to examine how the provision of so-called green goods and services has affected various aspects of the US economy. The authors' descriptive results reveal that those states and industries that were relatively green in 2010 became even greener in 2011. To investigate further the authors include green goods and services in a production function. The results show that between 2010 and 2011 industries that have increased their share of green employment have reduced their productivity although this negative correlation was only for the manufacture of green goods and not for the supply of green services. In further analysis, the authors investigate skill-technology complementarities in the production of green goods and services and show that industries that increased their provision of green goods and services grew more slowly, reduced their expenditure on technology inputs and increased their demand for medium educated workers, whilst simultaneously reducing their demand for lower-skilled workers.


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