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Renewable energy and unemployment: A general equilibrium analysis

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  • Rivers, Nicholas

Abstract

Using a three-sector general equilibrium model, the impact of renewable electricity support policies on the rate of equilibrium unemployment is analyzed. In a simple two-factor version of the model, the paper shows analytically that renewable electricity support policies lead to an increase in the rate of unemployment. A numerical analysis is conducted with an expanded three-factor model. In this version, most scenarios analyzed also lead to an increase in equilibrium unemployment. However, the paper identifies conditions in which renewable energy support policies can decrease the rate of equilibrium unemployment. In particular, when the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor is low, when capital is not mobile internationally, and when the labor intensity of renewable generation is high relative to conventional generation, renewable electricity support policies may reduce the rate of equilibrium unemployment. The model is parameterized to represent the US economy, such that the magnitudes of quantities can be observed. Although there is some variation in the results depending on parameters, the findings suggest in general that reducing electricity sector emissions by 10% through renewable electricity support policies is likely to increase the equilibrium unemployment rate by about 0.1–0.3 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Rivers, Nicholas, 2013. "Renewable energy and unemployment: A general equilibrium analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 467-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:35:y:2013:i:4:p:467-485
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2013.04.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Pereira, Alfredo & Pereira, Rui, 2016. "On the Optimal Use of Revenues from a CO2 Tax and the Importance of Labor Market Conditions," MPRA Paper 77630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dai, Hancheng & Xie, Xuxuan & Xie, Yang & Liu, Jian & Masui, Toshihiko, 2016. "Green growth: The economic impacts of large-scale renewable energy development in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 435-449.
    3. Wiser, Ryan & Bolinger, Mark & Heath, Garvin & Keyser, David & Lantz, Eric & Macknick, Jordan & Mai, Trieu & Millstein, Dev, 2016. "Long-term implications of sustained wind power growth in the United States: Potential benefits and secondary impacts," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 146-158.
    4. Laing, Timothy & Palmer, Charles, 2015. "Economy-wide impacts of REDD when there is political influence," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 107-126.
    5. repec:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:256-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Carfora, Alfonso & Romano, Antonio A. & Ronghi, Monica & Scandurra, Giuseppe, 2017. "Renewable generation across Italian regions: Spillover effects and effectiveness of European Regional Fund," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 132-141.
    7. Barbose, Galen & Wiser, Ryan & Heeter, Jenny & Mai, Trieu & Bird, Lori & Bolinger, Mark & Carpenter, Alberta & Heath, Garvin & Keyser, David & Macknick, Jordan & Mills, Andrew & Millstein, Dev, 2016. "A retrospective analysis of benefits and impacts of U.S. renewable portfolio standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 645-660.
    8. Sijm, Jos & Lehmann, Paul & Chewpreecha, Unnada & Gawel, Erik & Mercure, Jean-Francois & Pollitt, Hector & Strunz, Sebastian, 2014. "EU climate and energy policy beyond 2020: Are additional targets and instruments for renewables economically reasonable?," UFZ Discussion Papers 3/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    9. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:114-126 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Renewable energy; Policy; General equilibrium; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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