How Do Environmental Policies Affect Jobs?


May 6, 2015

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Questions about how environmental policies impact employment have played a central role in political debates, especially during the recent economic downturn, with opponents deriding regulations as “job killers” and proponents touting “green jobs.” However, economic studies of the effects of environmental regulation do not adequately answer the question of how it will affect employment. Empirical studies often ignore the impacts on unregulated industries and miss the ripple effects on unregulated sectors, and general equilibrium models frequently overlook the issue entirely by assuming "full employment" in their baseline.

RFF researchers recently developed a new model to more accurately study how environmental regulation affects employment and unemployment. At this RFF First Wednesday Seminar, they will join a panel of experts to discuss the new RFF model, the challenges of measuring the impacts of regulation on unemployment, and the implications of the research results for future environmental regulations and jobs.

Welcome and Introduction

Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future


Marc Hafstead, Fellow, RFF



  • Anne E. Smith, Senior Vice President and Co-Chair, Environment Practice, National Economic Research Associates (Download presentation.)
  • Terry Dinan, Senior Advisor, Congressional Budget Office

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