Working paper

Local labor impact of wind energy investment: an analysis of Portuguese municipalities

Helia Costa, and Linda Veiga


Investment in wind power has grown remarkably in the past decades in Portugal. Although economic development is an argument for investment incentive policies, little evidence exists as to their net impact on local-level unemployment. Using a panel of all 278 Portuguese mainland municipalities for the years 1997-2017, we assess the existence, distribution and duration of local level labor impacts of wind power investment. Our results show there are short term effects during the construction phase. We estimate a decrease of 0.05 percentage points in the total unemployment rate for each KW per capita installed. These effects are confined to unskilled labor and male workers. Further analysis of spatial interaction finds positive spatial spillovers for municipalities that are 30km or less away but not farther, implying workers are willing to commute but not migrate. We find no evidence of sustained effects or impact during the operations and maintenance phase, despite both short and long term impacts in municipalities' revenues.


Wind power; labor effectsf panel data;


Helia Costa, and Linda Veiga, Local labor impact of wind energy investment: an analysis of Portuguese municipalities, TSE Working Paper, n. 19-1023, July 2019.

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TSE Working Paper, n. 19-1023, July 2019