March 2014

IZA DP No. 8078: An Empirical Survey of the Ramifications of a Green Economy

The unprecedented deterioration of our global environment has increased the necessity of relying upon Green Economic policies as critical and effective environmental management tools. The current situation has stimulated extensive research and debate among global interest groups. This has fostered an ever-growing volume of literature that provides a picture of the best measures affecting the establishment of the Green Economy – including its development and outcomes. This paper provides a survey of the green economy in self-contained form and accessible to the non-specialist readers. First, it reviews the recent developments in green economy: its theoretical foundation, political background and developmental strategies towards genuine, sustainable development. Second, the circular economy, networks, organizations, policies, infrastructure and measurable expected effects are discussed. Third, the theoretical and empirical results and findings regarding the green economy and its practice do lead to a number of conclusions regarding measurement of improvements, achievement of outcomes and identification of causal effects. Finally, summaries of current and possible future Green Development tendencies with a focus upon directions, policy, organizations, capacity, areas and interventions are provided and extensions that can serve as optimal directions for future research and policy are suggested.