Panel Paper: State and Local Energy and Climate Policy: An Empirical Analysis of Green Jobs in Four Midwestern States

Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 3:50 PM
3016 Adams (Washington Marriott)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Hongtao Yi1, Richard Feiock2 and Wenjing Lu1, (1)Ohio State University, (2)Florida State University
Despite the centrality of green economic development and job creations to the political rhetoric and academic discussion, little attention has been paid to evaluation of the extent to which the existing clean energy policies have successfully created green jobs. Most of the existing literature has been focused on ex-ante forecasting of green job creation potential of different energy technologies, and much less work has been done to conduct ex-post evaluation of the job effects of clean energy development, especially in the city level of United States. The lack of empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the state and local clean energy policies in creating green jobs has not only thwarted the meaningful communication in the political debates, but also affected the progress of academic understanding in this important policy area. 

This paper fills this lacuna by empirically examining the effectiveness of clean energy and climate policies at the state and local levels in stimulating green jobs creation in cities in four Midwestern states using a longitudinal dataset of cities in four Midwestern states (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota) from 2005 to 2010.

We hypothesize that policy incentives adopted at the state level for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and ICLEI membership at the city level are positively correlated with green job growth in the cities. We also hypothesize that the local government structure plays a role in channeling local economic development, in a way that cities with mayor-council form of government are more inductive to green jobs growth than cities with council-manager form.

The dependent variable is measured as changes in green jobs from 2005 to 2010 in each city. The data were collected from ICLEI, DSIRE, as well as census. OLS regression and Difference-in-Difference (DD) model will be used as the modeling strategies. Preliminary OLS results indicate that state adoption of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) is positively related to local green jobs growth. Specifically, a city located in a state with RPS is expected to have 60.4 percent more green jobs than a city located in a state without RPS, holding other variables constant. The results also lend support for the hypothesized positive impact of ICLEI membership on green jobs. A city with ICLEI membership has 88.25 percent more green jobs than cities without such policies, holding other variables constant. We also find supporting evidence on the relationship between government structure and green job growth. Cities with a government structure of mayor-council have more newly created green jobs than cities with a government structure of council-manager.