P. 1
Green Jobs Myths

Green Jobs Myths

Ratings:

4.0

(1)
|Views: 448 |Likes:
Published by editorial.online

More info:

Published by: editorial.online on May 04, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/18/2011

pdf

text

original

 
University of Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE09-001~and~Case Western Reserve University Research Paper Series No. 09-15 March 12, 2009
Green Jobs Myths
 Andrew P. Morriss
 H. Ross and Helen Workman Professor of Law &Professor of BusinessUniversity of Illinois
William T. Bogart
 Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of EconomicsYork College of Pennsylvania
 Andrew Dorchak
 Head of Reference and Foreign/International Law Specialist Case Western Reserve University School of Law
 Roger E. Meiners
 John and Judy Goolsby Distinguished Professor of Economics and LawUniversity of Texas-ArlingtonThis paper can be downloaded free of charge from theSocial Science Research Network at:http://ssrn.com/abstract=1358423
 
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1358423Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1358423
Page 2 Morriss, Bogart, Dorchak, & Meiners
Green Jobs Myths
Andrew P. Morriss,
*
William T. Bogart,
**
Andrew Dorchak,
***
& Roger E.Meiners
****
 Abstract  A rapidly growing literature promises that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economybrimming with “green jobs.” Not only will these jobs improve the environment, but they will behigh paying, interesting, and provide collective rights. This literature is built on mythologiesabout economics, forecasting, and technology. Myth: Everyone understands what a “green job” is. Reality: No standard definition of a “green job” exists. Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment. Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption. Myth: Green jobs forecasts are reliable. Reality: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based ondubious assumptions. Myth: Green jobs promote employment growth. Reality: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described inthe literature encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growthcannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations. Government interference – such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests – will generate stagnation. Myth: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local  production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living. Reality: History shows that nations cannot produce everything their citizens need or
*
H. Ross & Helen Workman Professor of Law and Professor of Business, University of Illinois; Senior Scholar, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; & Senior Fellow, Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana. A.B. PrincetonUniversity; J.D., M.Pub.Aff., University of Texas; Ph.D. (Economics) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The authorsgratefully acknowledge the support of the Institute for Energy Research, our respective institutions, and Terry Anderson and Bruce Yandle, who offered helpful comments. All errors are, of course, our own.
**
Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Economics, York College of Pennsylvania; B.A., Rice University; A.M., Ph.D.(Economics) Princeton University.
***
Head of Reference and Foreign/International Law Specialist, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; M.L.S. 1994,Kent State University; Honors B.A., 1988, Xavier University.
****
John and Judy Goolsby Distinguished Professor of Economics and Law, University of Texas-Arlington; Senior Fellow,Property & Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana. B.A., Washington State University; M.A., University of Arizona;Ph.D. (Economics) Virginia Tech; J.D., University of Miami.
 
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1358423Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1358423
Green Jobs Myths
Page 3
desire. People and firms have talents that allow specialization that make goods and  services ever more efficient and lower-cost, thereby enriching society. Myth: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets. Reality: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customersand markets, than to cumbersome government mandates. Myth: Imposing technological progress by regulation is desirable. Reality: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today’s demands and could becounterproductive to environmental quality. In this Article, we survey the green jobs literature, analyze its assumptions, and show how the special interest groups promoting the idea of green jobs have embedded dubious assumptionsand techniques within their analyses. Before undertaking efforts to restructure and possiblyimpoverish our society, careful analysis and informed public debate about these assumptionsand prescriptions are necessary.
Contents
I.
Envisioning a World of Green Jobs ...................................................................................... 10
II.
Defining “green” jobs ........................................................................................................... 14
A.
What counts as “green” .................................................................................................. 15
B.
What counts as a “job” ................................................................................................... 22
C.
Forecasting ..................................................................................................................... 24
1.
Small base numbers .................................................................................................... 25
2.
Huge growth rates ....................................................................................................... 26
3.
Selective technological optimism ............................................................................... 29
4.
Unreliable underlying statistics .................................................................................. 31
5.
False precision masking large variations across estimates ......................................... 36
6.
Summary: unreliable forecasts ................................................................................... 38
D.
The inappropriate use of input-output analysis .............................................................. 38
E.
Promoting inefficient use of labor .................................................................................. 43
F.
Assessing green job estimates ........................................................................................ 48
III.
Mistakes in economic analysis........................................................................................... 49
A.
Rejecting comparative advantage................................................................................... 49
B.
Consumer surplus ........................................................................................................... 52
C.
Mandates vs. markets ..................................................................................................... 54
D.
 Neglecting opportunity costs .......................................................................................... 59
E.
Ignoring incentive effects ............................................................................................... 61
1.
Iron and Steel .............................................................................................................. 66
2.
Aluminum ................................................................................................................... 67
3.
Ammonia .................................................................................................................... 68
4.
Pulp and Paper ............................................................................................................ 69
5.
Appliances .................................................................................................................. 69
F.
Market hostility .............................................................................................................. 74

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
István Goller liked this
István Goller liked this
khs1854 liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->