Jobs Versus the Environment: An Industry-level Perspective
The possibility that workers could be adversely affected by environmental policies imposed on heavily regulated industries has led to claims of a "jobs versus the environment" trade-off by both business and labor leaders. The present research examines this claim at the industry level for four heavily polluting industries: pulp and paper mills, plastic manufacturers, petroleum refiners, and iron and steel mills. By focusing on labor effects across an entire industry, we construct a measure relevant to the concerns of key stakeholders, such as labor unions and trade groups. We decompose the link between environmental regulation and employment into three distinct components: factor shifts to more or less labor intensity, changes in total expenditures, and changes in the quantity of output demanded. We use detailed plant-level data to estimate the key parameters describing factor shifts and changes in total expenditures. We then use aggregate time-series data on industry supply shocks and output responses to estimate the demand effect. We find that increased environmental spending generally does not cause a significant change in industry-level employment. Our average across all four industries is a net gain of 1.5 jobs per $1 million in additional environmental spending, with a standard error of 2.2 jobs—an insignificant effect. In the plastics and petroleum sectors, however, there are small but significantly positive effects: 6.9 and 2.2 jobs, respectively, per $1 million in additional expenditures. These effects can be linked to favorable factor shifts—environmental spending is more labor intensive than ordinary production—and relatively inelastic estimated demand.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Randy A. Becker & J. Vernon Henderson, 2001. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 159-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hazilla, Michael & Kopp, Raymond J, 1990. "Social Cost of Environmental Quality Regulations: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 853-873, August.
- Berman, Eli & Bui, Linda T. M., 2001.
"Environmental regulation and labor demand: evidence from the South Coast Air Basin,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 265-295, February.
- Eli Berman & Linda T. Bui, 1997. "Environmental Regulation and Labor Demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Papers 0082, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Berman, E. & Bui, L.T., 1997. "Environmental Regulation and Labor demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Papers 82, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- Virginia D. McConnell & Robert M. Schwab, 1990. "The Impact of Environmental Regulation on Industry Location Decisions: The Motor Vehicle Industry," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(1), pages 67-81.
- Eli Berman & Linda T. Bui, 1997. "band Labor Demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," NBER Working Papers 6299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
- Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
- Hausman, Jerry A., 1985. "Taxes and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 213-263 Elsevier.
- Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
- Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
- Perroni, Carlo & Rutherford, Thomas F, 1998. "A Comparison of the Performance of Flexible Functional Forms for Use in Applied General Equilibrium Modelling," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 11(3), pages 245-263, June.
- Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
- Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "The Effects of Environmental Regulation on Business Location in the United States," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Wayne B. Gray (ed.), Economic Costs and Consequences of Environmental Regulation, pages 129-151 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
- Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "Global Properties of Flexible Functional Forms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 422-432, June.
- Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
- Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
- Gray, Wayne B, 1987. "The Cost of Regulation: OSHA, EPA and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 998-1006, December.
- Jorgenson, Dale W., 1986. "Econometric methods for modeling producer behavior," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1841-1915 Elsevier.
- Michael E. Porter & Claas van der Linde, 1995. "Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 97-118, Fall.
- repec:fth:harver:1487 is not listed on IDEAS
- Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-674, August. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-99-01-rev. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.