Distributional Equity in the Employment and Wage Impacts of Energy Transitions

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published




We use restricted-access, geocoded data on the near-universe of workers in 23 U.S. states to quantify the impact of wind energy development on local earnings and employment, by race, ethnicity, sex, and educational attainment. We find significant impacts that persist for several years beyond the project construction phase. Our estimates are larger than those from previous studies, but still small relative to typical economic multipliers for fiscal spending or investment in other industries. We find the largest percentage increases for black workers and workers who either do not have a high school diploma, or who have a college degree. We also find the economic gains for men to be much larger than those for women. Finally, we find estimates from data aggregated to the county-level to be significantly lower than our worker-level estimates. We suggest a number of areas for further study building off the justice implications of our findings.


Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Year of Publication



This is a preprint version of an article to be published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in November 2024.
A brief overview of this study can be found here


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