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Who’s fit for the low-carbon transition? Emerging skills and wage gaps in job and data

Aurélien Saussay, Misato Sato, Francesco Vona and Layla O’Kane
Additional contact information
Misato Sato: Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
Layla O’Kane: Lightcast

No 2022.31, Working Papers from Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

Abstract: As governments worldwide increase their commitments to tackling climate change, the number of low-carbon jobs are expected to grow rapidly. Here we provide evidence on the characteristics of low-carbon jobs in the US using comprehensive online job postings data between 2010-2019. By accurately identifying low-carbon jobs and comparing them to similar jobs in the same occupational group, we show that low-carbon jobs differ from high-carbon or generic jobs in a number of important ways. Low-carbon jobs have higher skill requirements across a broad range of skills, especially technical ones. However, the wage premium for low-carbon jobs has declined over time and the geographic overlap between low- and high-carbon jobs is limited. Overall, our findings suggest the low-carbon transition entails potentially high labour reallocation costs associated with re-skilling and earning losses, indicating public investments in skills is needed to deliver a smooth and rapid transition.

Keywords: Low-carbon jobs; fossil-fuel jobs; skill gaps; job vacancy data; green wage premium; distributional effects; low-carbon transition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J23 J24 J31 Q52 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-lma, nep-ltv and nep-tid
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Related works:
Working Paper: Who’s fit for the low-carbon transition? Emerging skills and wage gaps in job and data (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Who’s fit for the low-carbon transition? Emerging skills and wage gaps in job ad data (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Who’s fit for the low-carbon transition? Emerging skills and wage gaps in job ad data (2022) Downloads
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