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Many Americans believe three things about jobs and the environment: that the implementation of environmental protection measures has created ongoing, widespread unemployment; that it has caused large numbers of plant shutdowns and layoffs in manufacturing; and that it has led many U.S. firms to flee to developing countries with lax environmental regulations. Virtually all economists who have studied the issue agree that each of these propositions is false.In The Trade-Off Myth, economist Eban Goodstein provides an in-depth examination of the deep-seated, but ultimately mistaken, American belief in a widespread jobs-environment trade-off. Remarkably, his is the first book to state unambiguously the truth about jobs and the environment. Goodstein offers a readable and accessible analysis of the labor impacts of environmental regulation, as he: considers the roots and staying power of misperceptions regarding job security and environmental regulation analyzes various models used to predict employment impacts, and explains how changes in assumptions can drastically change predicted outcomes lists and debunks, myth-by-myth, widely held perceptions about the impacts of environmental regulation on jobs examines localized hardships caused by environmental protection measures within specific industries and regions, and considers what can be done to mitigate those impacts explores the revisionist view that environmental protection measures can actually create jobs looks at jobs-environment issues that are likely to emerge as we attack the problem of global warming.The Trade-Off Myth presents in clear, accessible language the consensus of economists who have examined the jobs-environment issue, and offers the first comprehensive look at the truth behind the myths that pervade discourse on environmental regulation. It will be essential reading for environmentalists, concerned citizens, policymakers, public officials, and anyone involved with debates over strengthening environmental regulations.
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Eban Goodstein is Associate Professor of Economics at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and research associate with the Environmental Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C. He is author of Economics and the Environment (Prentice Hall, 1999).
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