Climate Policy and the Carbon Content of Jobs
Climate policies have heterogeneous labour market impacts across sectors and occupations. However, there are no clear indexes to measure the worker's exposure to ambitious climate policy. We propose an occupation-based approach to measure the worker's vulnerability to climate policies. Using rich establishment-level data for France, we construct a time-varying measure of the carbon content of jobs for more than 400 occupations over the period 2003-2018. We show that carbon intensive occupations exhibit a mild catching-up in terms of emissions per worker, are geographically concentrated, highly exposed to other structural transformations (automation and trade) and pay higher wages. We then estimate the extent to which the impact of energy prices, a proxy of climate policies, is mediated by the occupational carbon intensity using a shift-share instrument. Both wages and employment losses are significantly larger for carbon intensive occupations, also when we carefully control for the exposure to other structural shocks. Importantly, a sector-based approach to measure vulnerability to climate policies gives less clear and robust results on policy effects than an occupation-based ones.