Behavioural Environmental Economics Course+Workshop 2019
We also have a group called BEEn (Behavioural Environmental Economics Network) which aims to bring scholars together working on issues related to environmental and resource economics from a behavioural perspective. BEEn collects and disseminate information about related conferences, research and announcements. If you want to learn more about the group and become a member, click here.
This year, it will be in Uppsala, a city close to Stockholm, 18 minutes by train and 30-50 minutes by bus from Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
The course aims to provide understanding of topics in environmental and resource economics from a behavioural economics perspective. Students will learn how to apply the theory and the methods such as field and laboratory experiments to the environmental issues to discover how individuals actually behave, and how normative theories and frameworks fail to capture the actual behaviour.
There is no tuition fee. Students are expected to cover their own costs of travel, accommodation, etc.
Course Venue: Ultuna SLU Campus, Uppsala, Sweden. You can travel to Uppsala from Stockholm Arlanda Airport by train (18 minutes) and by bus (30-50 minutes).
Here is the reading list for BEE2019
Masters and PhD
There will be a take home exam after the lecture period, you will be given plenty of time to complete it. In order to take the exam, you are required to attend the lectures during the lecture period 3-6 June 2019.
The course is specifically aimed at PhD students within the field of social sciences in particular economics. Knowledge in basic microeconomics and good knowledge in English is vital to be able to follow the course.
Prof. Arild Angelsen
Arild Angelsen is a professor of economics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He has over the past two decades done extensive research and published on causes of tropical deforestation, and its interaction with poverty, tenure and government policies. Recent work deals with how efforts to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) can be included in a global climate regime, and the national strategies and policies needed to achieve REDD+. He has edited three REDD+ books that have become standard references in the debate. Angelsen was global coordinator of the Poverty Environment Network (PEN), a CIFOR-led research programme collecting detailed information from 8 000 households in 24 developing countries on forest uses and management. He has also used field experiments to study human behaviour and the impact of policy interventions for sustainable resource use. He has broad field experience from Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa, and is editor of a book on field research methods. Personal Web
Prof. Eline van der Heijden
Eline van der Heijden is Professor of Experimental Economics and member of the Tilburg Sustainability Center at Tilburg University. She began conducting experiments research during her promotion research and has since then done experimental and behavioral research on a wide range of subjects such as public goods and other social dilemma situations, the role of time, risk and social preferences in behavior, and leadership. She has experience with lab experiments, with large scale online experiments among a representative sample of the Dutch population, as well as field experiments. Van der Heijden uses these experiments to answer more fundamental research questions, but also to study more applied policy questions for various Dutch ministries, the OECD and the EU. In the past five years she has conducted a number of experimental lab and field studies in the field of environmental economics, including research into investments in energy-efficient technologies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), households in the field of sustainable consumption, dynamic coordination games, and payments for ecosystem services schemes. Personal Web
Dr. Sara le Roux
Dr. Sara le Roux is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Oxford Brookes University. Her main research interests include the theoretical and experimental analysis of individual’s perception of ambiguity and decision choices made by individuals in the presence of ambiguity. Currently a number of policy questions involve ambiguity, in particular, potential threats resulting from climate change and environmental damage. Dr. le Roux uses experiments to analyse whether individuals make optimal decisions when faced by uncertain weather events, and if individuals can be “nudged” towards making better decisions. Personal Web
Dr. Therese Lindahl
After completing her PhD in Economics at the Stockholm School of Economics 2005, she joined the research staff at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. She became one of the Beijer program leaders, a position which she still holds today, for Behavior, Economics and Nature Network (BENN) (2010). The aim of her research is to generate a better understanding of human behavior (drivers, motivators and actions) in social-ecological systems, which can range from the individual and collective behavior of resource users facing different forms of social- ecological conditions (such as more or less predictable abrupt ecosystem changes, different market conditions etc.), to the (un)sustainable behavior of the average citizen/consumer. She employs a mix of experimental (lab and field), empirical and theoretical (mainly game theory) methods in her research. Lately she has also been combining these with social simulation (Agent-Based Models). Personal Web
Dr. Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy
Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forest Economics, and a member of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), a collaborative research center between Umeå University and the SLU at Umeå, Sweden. His research covers many areas in environmental and resource economics, with a particular focus: on investigating optimal management of natural resources such as water; understanding aspects of consumer behaviour related household energy and water consumption; and in better understanding and modelling the climate-economy linkages. Personal Web
Dr. Amare Teklay Hailu
Amare Teklay Hailu is a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics (CERE), Swedish Agricultural University in Umeå. He holds a PhD from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and has been a Mäler Scholar for 2019 at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics. His research focuses on evaluating behavioral responses of resource users to alternative policies such as payments for ecosystem services (PES). Hailu has conducted framed field experiments in Ethiopia and is currently working on developing empirically-informed agent based model (ABM) to explore the mechanisms through which collective outcomes emerge from subtle differences in individual behavior. Personal Web
3 June 2019
The first day of the course sets fundamentals about behavioral economics via a detailed introduction about the behavioral biases and examples of experiments. The first day also introduces some specific illustrations and real-world examples such as individual consumption and extraction decisions for how the postulated simple rational behavior can differ in reality from expectations. Attention will be drawn to the challenges involved in identifying deviations from basic rationality assumption and “conditioning factors” involved in many contexts.
4 June 2019
This day focusses on mostly on laboratory experiments. Lectures will provide information to students about how they can use laboratory experiments to investigate the environmental economics issues.
Prof. Eline van der Heijden’s lecture starts with a short introduction to several types of environmental problems and briefly reviews how some of these environmental social dilemmas have been studied experimentally and discusses some recent contributions, both of lab and field experiments. Then, discussing some specific topics in more detail: cooperation in (dynamic) coordination games, provision of environmental conversation by means of payments for ecosystem services, the role of leadership. Focus is on instruments that can be used to improve coordination and cooperation.
Dr. Sara le Roux focusses on the concept of Equilibrium under Ambiguity (EUA). Then the lecture proceeds to apply the equilibrium concept to analyze games that simulate the effects of climate change in various choice situations: Mitigation: We will firstly model the ambiguity countries face while coordinating in a manner that would mitigate harmful emissions that cause climate change. Adaptation: Next we will study the effects of ambiguity on individuals deciding whether to invest in infrastructure that will adapt to the harmful effects of climate change, such that they can prevent losses due to climate change catastrophes. Insurance: Finally, alongside mitigation and adaptation mechanisms, we must consider insuring optimally in the face of ambiguous climate change catastrophes that can be viewed as low probability/high impact events.
5 June 2019
Dr. Therese Lindahl's focus is the value added of using experiments to study social ecological systems. The lecture will be about exploring the value added of using experiments to study social-ecological systems. She will first talk about controlled behavior experiments, where the specific emphasis is typically on capturing relevant features of ecosystem dynamics such as regime shifts and their inherent uncertainties, spatially distributed resources, asymmetrically distributed resources, resource interdependencies. These experiments are often applied to common pool resource settings, they have been performed both in lab and in field settings and we will cover both types of studies. She will also talk briefly about the value added of using social simulation experiments to study social-ecological systems, especially when they are used in combination with controlled behavioral experiments.
6 June 2019
Prof. Arild Angelsen and Dr. Amare Teklay's focus on Framed Field Experiments (FFEs): Since 2000 (Cardenas), a series of FFEs on natural resource use and management in developing countries have been conducted. FFEs have, compared to lab experiments, a realistic task (e.g. harvesting of trees) with a relevant population (e.g. real forest users) and conducted in the participants’ natural environment. The experiments are usually framed as a common pool resource game (CPR), creating a social dilemma between individual collective payoffs. The lecture aims to, first, give a broad overview of FFEs, some typical resource management situations, and possible policies. Second, it will summarize the experimental studies and the main (policy) conclusions that can be drawn from these.