More about this thesis track
Our research focuses on three core themes:
- Transition to a low-carbon economy;
- Resilient and sustainable social-ecological systems;
- Understanding human behaviour and technological progress.
Addressing climate change and its adverse impacts on society requires finding the right mix of mitigation, adaptation, and development policies. How do we trade off the sacrifices of current generations for a greener economy against the reduced climatic impacts on future generations? What is the most effective and efficient pathway to phase out fossil fuels? We address such questions through empirical analyses, simulation models as well as theoretical models to study mechanisms and interactions.
Social-ecological systems, such as marine systems, forests, or semi-arid grazing lands, are systems where human activities and natural systems are closely linked. Addressing the mounting pressure on these systems from drivers such as climate change and overexploitation requires a thorough understanding of the socio-economic actors and institutions, as well as the biotic and abiotic factors at play in the natural system. We address this challenge by developing bioeconomic models and carrying out surveys and behavioural experiments.
Understanding human behaviour is fundamental to addressing both of these challenges. How do people trade off material consumption against a clean environment? How do incentives such as taxes and subsidies change human behaviour? Is material wealth really what makes people happy? The economics discipline is evolving towards a more empirical and interdisciplinary science that integrates insights from behavioural psychology to understand what determines human decisions. We contribute to this development through surveys and behavioural experiments.
Students can learn more about the education and research related to this discipline by visiting the website of the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group.