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Climate Change and Green Growth: A Perspective of the Division of Labor


Yongsheng Zhang


This paper presents a new research agenda on climate change and green growth from the perspective of the division of labor in classical economics. The paper covers three major dimensions of green growth (i.e. carbon emissions, environmental protection and material resources use) and some related important topics, as well as the fresh policy implications of the new research agenda, Typical marginal analysis in a given structure of the division of labor suggests that “green” action is a burden to economic development. Therefore, climate negotiation has become a burden-sharing game and has reached a stalemate. New thinking is badly needed to rescue these negotiations and to drive a shift to a new “green growth” paradigm. The proposed new research agenda represents an effort to create a new narrative on climate change and green growth. Because the new research agenda can theoretically predict the possibility that a more competitive structure of the division of labor could be triggered by “green” policy, it has promising policy implications for various important challenges facing us in the 21st century.

Key words: climate change, division of labor, green growth, specialization

JEL codes: B52, O13, Q54, Q58

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