Jobs vs. The Environment: An Industry-Level Study

Date Published: 
Thu, 06/01/2000

Richard D. Morgenstern, William A. Pizer, and Jhih-Shyang Shih. Resources for the Future. June 2000.

Jobs vs. The Environment: An Industry-Level Study” spotlights four industries that operate under intense environmental regulations: plastics, paper, steel, and petroleum. The authors find that “increased environmental spending generally does not cause a significant change in industry level employment.”

On average, all four industries saw a net gain of 1.5 jobs per $1 million in additional spending on environmental regulation (within the margin of error). In the plastics industry 6.9 jobs were created per $1 million in investment, perhaps because “environmental spending [in this sector] is more labor intensive than ordinary procedure.”