The role of behavioural and economic policy instruments in the transition to sustainable and healthy production and consumption

Every day, individuals make a myriad of choices that, although tiny if taken in isolation, may result in large health and environmental costs if aggregated over individuals or over time. The transition towards sustainable and circular economies will require profound changes in these individual habits and choices. Environmental economics has crucial role to play in guiding this transformation process.

The Environmental Economics and Natural Resources (ENR) Group uses concepts and theories from environmental and behavioural economics to study how stakeholders, such as consumers, businesses and governments can collectively contribute to the transition to more sustainable and circular economies. We use theoretical models of human behaviour and public decision-making in the context of environmental problems. We apply, test and develop these contexts mostly in an experimental setting in the field or lab. We contribute by research that focuses on improving the understanding of stakeholder preferences and the factors that influence these preferences, such that these stakeholders can be encouraged to make more healthy and sustainable decisions. Besides that, we study how effective economic policy interventions can be designed that contribute to a variety of targets, including happiness, health and sustainability.

Key publications