Insights Blog

Greenhouse Gas and Economic Growth

November 21, 2013

Taylor's presentation provides a long-run analysis of economic growth and CO₂ emissions.

On October 25, 2013, Lance Taylor, economics professor emeritus at The New School for Social Research, gave a presentation at a Berlin conference hosted by the Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) titled, "The Jobs Crisis: Causes, Cure, Constraints." 

Taylor's presentation provides a long-run analysis of economic growth and CO₂ emissions from his research paper, "Greenhouse Gas Accumulation and Demand-Driven Economic Growth," coauthored by Duncan Foley, Jonathan Cogliano and Rishabh Kumar. 

His demand-driven growth model analyzes how economic growth through capital accumulation requires an increase in energy consumption. Increased energy consumption releases harmful greenhouse gases and reduces growth through the adverse effects of climate change, such as natural disasters and an increasing business costs. A possible solution would be increased spending on mitigation to reduce climate change damages. The model shows that investment in mitigating greenhouse gases to a "good," steady-state would cost 1.25% of the global GDP, roughly equal to military spending. On the distribution side, greenhouse gases cut into the profit share in any scenario - moderately in a mitigated scenario, but precipitously on an unmitigated, "business-as-usual" path.