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Employment and structural impacts of material efficiency strategies: Results from five case studies

: Walz, R.


Journal of cleaner production 19 (2011), Nr.8, S.805-815
ISSN: 0959-6526
Fraunhofer ISI ()
economic impact material efficiency; employment; economic modeling; structural adjustment; first mover advantage

In order to come up with a sound assessment of the effects of material efficiency innovations on growth, employment and competitiveness, different economic mechanisms have to be considered. From a methodological point of view, the analysis must be able to account for technology specific aspects. The employment impacts of five innovations are analyzed: plastic and paper recycling, increased life span of automobiles, car sharing, and bio-based products. Time horizons for all strategies are scenarios until 2020.
The economic impacts are context specific with regard to innovation, technology and country. The economic impacts highlight substantial structural adjustments. The overall economic net impact on employment tends to be neutral to positive. Stronger positive economic impacts result if first mover advantages can be established.