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Building back better: How big are green spending multipliers?
Ecological Economics  (IF5.389),  Pub Date : 2021-12-06, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107305
Nicoletta Batini, Mario Di Serio, Matteo Fragetta, Giovanni Melina, Anthony Waldron

Is there a trade-off between spending on the green economy and an economy's strength? This paper addresses this question by estimating output multipliers for spending in clean energy and biodiversity conservation, and by comparing these to multipliers of spending on non-ecofriendly energy and land use activities. Using a new international dataset, we arrive at two key results. First, we find that every dollar spent on key carbon-neutral or carbon-sink activities can generate more than a dollar's worth of economic activity, whereas non-green spending returns less than a dollar. Second, for categories of spending where formal comparisons are possible, like renewable versus fossil fuel energy, we find that multipliers on green spending are about twice as large as their non-green counterparts. The point estimates of the multipliers are 1.1–1.7 for renewable energy investment and 0.4–0.7 for fossil fuel energy investment, depending on horizon and specification. These findings survive several robustness checks and lend support to bottom-up analyses that find that stabilizing climate and reversing biodiversity loss go hand in hand with economic prosperity.