Green technology and income inequality: an empirical analysis of US metro areas

Nicolò Barbieri, Davide Consoli, Giovanni Marin, François Perruchas
Regional Studies

Climate change is a global phenomenon with markedly local manifestations. Accordingly, territories differ in terms of exposure to climate events, of capacity to adopt climate mitigation policies and of the welfare effects that these deep transformations entail. The paper brings together these threads with an empirical study of the relationship between green technology development and income inequality in US metropolitan areas over the period 2005–15. We find a positive association between local patenting capacity and growing income gaps to the detriment of the least affluent. Further, higher patenting propensity in early-stage technologies has a stronger association with income inequality, whereas such a relationship dissipates at later stages of the life cycle.