This working paper evaluates the employment effect of the green part of the largest fiscal stimulus in recent history, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Each $1 million of green ARRA investment created 15 new jobs that emerged especially in the post-ARRA period (2013-2017). The paper finds little evidence of significant short-run employment gains. Green ARRA spending created more jobs in commuting zones with a greater prevalence of pre-existing green skills. Nearly half of the jobs created by green ARRA investments were in construction or waste management and nearly all new jobs created were manual labor positions. Nonetheless, manual labor wages did not increase.


The Clean Economy Working Paper Series disseminates findings of ongoing environmental and clean economy work conducted by researchers from a range of disciplines. These working papers are meant to make results of relevant scholarly work available in a preliminary form. Although these papers have not undergone a peer-review process, they meet general standards of scholarly excellence. The views expressed in these working papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart Prosperity Institute.