Working Paper Number


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Working Paper 198


Two new papers purport to debunk “myths” about recent students on the employment effects of investments in the clean energy economy. The full 97 page version of this work is titled “Green Jobs Myths” and the 21 page summary paper is titled “Seven Myths about Green Jobs.” These papers are written as a response to what they term the “rapidly gaining popularity” of four studies that attempt to show the employment gains that can emerge from investments in building a clean energy economy in the United States. The four studies to which they refer are U.S. Metro Economies: Current and Potential Green Jobs in the U.S. Economy, published by the U.S. Conference of Mayors; Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, published by the American Solar Energy Society; Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, published by the United Nations Environmental Program; and Green Recovery, co-published by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. These papers offer a few useful correctives on some detailed points regarding the links between green investments and jobs. But overall, they end up accomplishing exactly the opposite of what they intend. They attempt to identify and puncture “myths,” on the green economy, but instead offer no challenge to the central explanations as to how investing in the green economy will provide significant benefits throughout the U.S. economy.


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