Labour in the Low-carbon Transition

The research programme “Labour in the Low-carbon Transition” (LILT) studies topics related to the effect of climate policies, green subsidies and broad green deal plans on the structure of the economy. The particular focus on labour market effects across workers with different skills and qualifications is the entry point of the research agenda conducted within this programme. The concept of skills is crucial to understand both the distributional effects of climate policies and the building up of a comparative advantage in key sectors, such as renewable energy generation, electric vehicles and storage technologies. The programme will be organized in four projects.

The first projects will explore the structural features of the low-carbon transition: the skill content of green and brown jobs, the relationship between job creation and green productions and other structural aspects of the low-carbon transition related to innovation, comparative advantage, emission and productivity dynamics.

The second project will examine the effect of several policies on the employment dynamics of workers with different skills, considering both the winners and the losers in the labour market and the effect of policies on wages and profits. A related objective of this project is to examine the effect of deindustrialization in European local labour markets, with a particular focus on displaced workers in carbon-intensive industries.

The third project will be on the political-economy of the low-carbon transition. It will seek to understand the extent to which distributional effects along several dimensions affect the formation of political preferences for green policies as well as the role of low-carbon and fossil fuel lobbies in shaping the political process at the European level.

The four project will be on a long-term research output, namely building a disequilibrium model to assess the transitional costs associated with the reallocation of workers from high- to low-carbon jobs. The idea is to construct a theoretical framework to quantify the transitional costs of the low-carbon transition, the role of distributional effects and of emerging political resistances on the outcomes of transition towards a low-carbon economy. Francesco Vona, professor at the University of Milan, will coordinate a group of senior and junior economists working on these four topics.

Research Programme and Team
Programme Director

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