IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spo/wpmain/infohdl2441-6d7es28iae9pjoil7092hs41h3.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Job losses and political acceptability of climate policies: why the ‘job-killing’ argument is so persistent and how to overturn it

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Vona

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

Abstract

Political acceptability is an essential issue in choosing appropriate climate policies. Sociologists and behavioural scientists recognize the importance of selecting environmental policies that have broad political support, while economists tend to compare different instruments first on the basis of their efficiency, and then by assessing their distributional impacts and thus their political acceptability. This paper examines case-study and empirical evidence that the job losses ascribed (correctly or incorrectly) to climate policies have substantial impacts on the willingness of affected workers to support these policies. In aggregate, the costs of these losses are significantly smaller than the benefits, both in terms of health and, probably, of labour market outcomes, but the losses are concentrated in specific areas, sectors and social groups that have been hit hard by the great recession and international competition. Localized contextual effects, such as peer group pressure, and politico-economic factors, such as weakened unions and tightened government budgets, amplify the strength and the persistence of the ‘job-killing’ argument. Compensating for the effects of climate policies on ‘left-behind’ workers appears to be the key priority to increase the political acceptability of such policies, but the design of compensatory policies poses serious challenges.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Vona, 2019. "Job losses and political acceptability of climate policies: why the ‘job-killing’ argument is so persistent and how to overturn it," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/6d7es28iae9, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6d7es28iae9pjoil7092hs41h3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/6d7es28iae9pjoil7092hs41h3/resources/2019-vona-job-loss-and-political-acceptability.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Abay Mulatu & Reyer Gerlagh & Dan Rigby & Ada Wossink, 2010. "Environmental Regulation and Industry Location in Europe," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 459-479, April.
    2. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
    3. Michael I. Cragg & Yuyu Zhou & Kevin Gurney & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Carbon Geography: The Political Economy Of Congressional Support For Legislation Intended To Mitigate Greenhouse Gas Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1640-1650, April.
    4. W. Reed Walker, 2013. "The Transitional Costs of Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence From the Clean Air Act and the Workforce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1787-1835.
    5. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Jae Song, 2014. "Trade Adjustment: Worker-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1799-1860.
    6. Morgenstern, Richard D. & Pizer, William A. & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 2002. "Jobs Versus the Environment: An Industry-Level Perspective," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 412-436, May.
    7. Rosés, Joan R. & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2018. "Regional Economic Development in Europe, 1900-2010: a description of the Patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 12749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2018. "Environmental Regulation and Green Skills: An Empirical Exploration," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 713-753.
    9. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Misato Sato, 2017. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitiveness," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 183-206.
    10. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli, 2019. "Measures, drivers and effects of green employment: evidence from US local labor markets, 2006–2014," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 1021-1048.
    11. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2010. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3125, CESifo.
    12. Vona, Francesco & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2011. "Income inequality and the development of environmental technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2201-2213, September.
    13. Hafstead, Marc A.C. & Williams, Roberton C., 2018. "Unemployment and environmental regulation in general equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 50-65.
    14. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
    15. Stefano Carattini & Andrea Baranzini & Philippe Thalmann & Frédéric Varone & Frank Vöhringer, 2017. "Green Taxes in a Post-Paris World: Are Millions of Nays Inevitable?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 97-128, September.
    16. W. Reed Walker, 2011. "Environmental Regulation and Labor Reallocation: Evidence from the Clean Air Act," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 442-447, May.
    17. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
    18. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2015. "Green Skills," Working Papers 2015.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    19. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    20. Stefan Drews & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2016. "What explains public support for climate policies? A review of empirical and experimental studies," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(7), pages 855-876, October.
    21. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    22. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Jae Song, 2014. "Trade Adjustment: Worker Level Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5000, CESifo.
    23. Terry Barker & Eva Alexandri & Jean-Francois Mercure & Yuki Ogawa & Hector Pollitt, 2016. "GDP and employment effects of policies to close the 2020 emissions gap," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 393-414, May.
    24. Wei, Max & Patadia, Shana & Kammen, Daniel M., 2010. "Putting renewables and energy efficiency to work: How many jobs can the clean energy industry generate in the US?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 919-931, February.
    25. Eugénie Joltreau & Katrin Sommerfeld, 2019. "Why does emissions trading under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) not affect firms’ competitiveness? Empirical findings from the literature," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 453-471, April.
    26. Rode, Johannes & Weber, Alexander, 2016. "Does localized imitation drive technology adoption? A case study on rooftop photovoltaic systems in Germany," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 38-48.
    27. Samuel Fankhaeser & Friedel Sehlleier & Nicholas Stern, 2008. "Climate change, innovation and jobs," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 421-429, July.
    28. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
    29. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
    30. Yamazaki, Akio, 2017. "Jobs and climate policy: Evidence from British Columbia's revenue-neutral carbon tax," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 197-216.
    31. William Nordhaus, 2015. "Climate Clubs: Overcoming Free-Riding in International Climate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1339-1370, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David A. Fleming‐Muñoz & Lavinia Poruschi & Thomas Measham & Jacqui Meyers & Magnus Moglia, 2020. "Economic vulnerability and regional implications of a low carbon emissions future," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 64(3), pages 575-604, July.
    2. Marin, Giovanni & Vona, Francesco, 2019. "Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics: Evidence from EU countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    3. Ziqiao Chen & Giovanni Marin & David Popp & Francesco Vona, 2020. "Green Stimulus in a Post-pandemic Recovery: the Role of Skills for a Resilient Recovery," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 76(4), pages 901-911, August.
    4. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2019. "Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics: evidence from EU countries: Evidence from EU countries," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2vteelu0n78, Sciences Po.
    5. Jochen Markard & Daniel Rosenbloom, 2020. "Politics of low-carbon transitions: The European Emissions Trading System as a Trojan Horse for climate policy?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20200116, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    6. Samson Afewerki & Asbjørn Karlsen, 2021. "Policy mixes for just sustainable regional development in industrially overspecialized regions: the case of two Norwegian petro-maritime regions," PEGIS geo-disc-2021_02, Institute for Economic Geography and GIScience, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Francesco Vona, 2018. "Job losses and the political acceptability of climate policies : an amplified collective action problem," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7upb3pbvdn8, Sciences Po.
    2. Marin, Giovanni & Vona, Francesco, 2019. "Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics: Evidence from EU countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    3. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2019. "Climate policies and skill-biased employment dynamics: evidence from EU countries: Evidence from EU countries," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2vteelu0n78, Sciences Po.
    4. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli, 2019. "Measures, drivers and effects of green employment: evidence from US local labor markets, 2006–2014," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 1021-1048.
    5. Hille, Erik & Möbius, Patrick, 2019. "Do energy prices affect employment? Decomposed international evidence," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-21.
    6. Stefano Carattini & Simon Levin & Alessandro Tavoni, 2019. "Cooperation in the Climate Commons," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 227-247.
    7. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 2017.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2015. "Green Skills," CESifo Working Paper Series 5323, CESifo.
    9. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2018. "Environmental Regulation and Green Skills: An Empirical Exploration," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 713-753.
    10. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2015. "Green Skills," Working Papers 2015.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Janser, Markus, 2018. "The greening of jobs in Germany : First evidence from a text mining based index and employment register data," IAB Discussion Paper 201814, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    12. Yip, Chi Man, 2018. "On the labor market consequences of environmental taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 136-152.
    13. Rutzer, Christian & Niggli, Matthias, 2020. "Environmental Policy and Heterogeneous Labor Market Effects: Evidence from Europe," Working papers 2020/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    14. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Misato Sato, 2017. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitiveness," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 183-206.
    15. Davide Consoli & Francesco Vona & Francesco Rentocchini, 2016. "That was then, this is now: skills and routinization in the 2000s," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(5), pages 847-866.
    16. Thomsen, Stephan L, 2018. "Die Rolle der Computerisierung und Digitalisierung für Beschäftigung und Einkommen," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-645, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    17. Yagan, Danny, 2016. "The Enduring Employment Impact of Your Great Recession Location," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt12d0w9bs, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    18. Raitano, Michele & Romano, Eleonora & Zoppoli, Pietro, 2017. "Renewable energy sources in Italy: Sectorial intensity and effects on earnings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 117-127.
    19. Filippo Bontadini & Francesco Vona, 2020. "Anatomy of Green Specialization: Evidence from EU Production Data, 1995-2015," Sciences Po publications 21, Sciences Po.
    20. Chen, Sonja, 2016. "Adverse selection in the labour market and the demand for vocational education," CLEF Working Paper Series 3, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate policies; Employment impacts; Distributional impacts; Collective action problems; Amplification mechanisms; Political acceptability;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6d7es28iae9pjoil7092hs41h3. 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: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecspofr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.