Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Environmental protection doesn’t cost jobs

There’s an excellent summary just posted by Paul Norton at the Larvatus Prodeo blog of an important work published in 1999 by US environmental economist Eban Goodstein. The Trade-Off Myth explodes a number of "green policies cost jobs" myths.

Some highlights:
Goodstein's survey of the available economic literature and research found that there was no [jobs versus economy] tradeoff at a macroeconomic level. The effects of environmental protection and regulation were minor compared to other factors including the monetary and fiscal policies of the state. On balance they were found to produce a slight employment benefit and economic stimulus due to the effects of public expenditure on environmental protection, corporate investment in abatement measures and accelerated technological innovation, the stimulus to the environmental protection industry, and the adoption of more labour-intensive production processes.

And in response to the familiar cry by big business that 'If we have to comply with new regulations we'll move overseas and take the jobs with us':
There were few examples of relocation of US plants to pollution havens... This was because: the cost of environmental regulation was small compared to overall business costs (especially wages); costs were only one factor in relocation decisions; modern production technology obviates environmental compliance costs by incorporating pollution control devices to begin with; and environmental compliance could yield benefits outweighing the costs.

Well worth a read.

4 comments:

Peter Still said...

David, just thought you'd like to know that I have linked to your blog! Thanks, too, for the comment you left me the other week.

Jasmine said...

Hi DJ. Just added a link to you from my blog!

Jasmine

David said...

Hi Jas and Peter!!

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