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The Green Industry: An Examination of Environmental Products Manufacturing

  • Randy Becker
  • Ronald Shadbegian

The "green industry" is often noted in discussions of the costs and benefits of environmental policy, and it has been characterized as a unique industry with substantial potential for employment growth, well-paying jobs, and export opportunities. In this paper, we examine the characteristics and recent economic performance of the green industry, using establishment-level data on environmental products manufacturers (EPMs) from the 1995 Survey of Environmental Products and Services, together with data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures and various Census of Manufactures. Results suggest that there are some differences between EPMs and their non-EPM counterparts in the same industry, in terms of employment, employee compensation, exports, and productivity. However, we do not find any evidence that EPMs performed any better than otherwise similar plants, in terms of survival, employment growth, wage growth, and export growth. Our findings offer a more complex and nuanced portrayal of the green industry than is typical, and we suggest that this industry may not be as exceptional as is sometimes maintained.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 08-34.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:08-34
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  1. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  3. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-75, June.
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