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• Àngel Font, director corporativo de Investigación y Estrategia de la Fundación Bancaria ”la Caixa”; Martí Boada, profesor e investigador del Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

El mapa “Blockadia” del ICTA-UAB recoge los movimientos mundiales contra los combustibles fósiles

Un nuevo mapa interactivo elaborado por investigadores del Instituto de Ciència i Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) muestra el impacto mundial de las acciones de resistencia directa que llevan a cabo las personas que se enfrentan físicamente a los proyectos de extracción de combustibles fósiles.

El ICTA-UAB participa en el encuentro 100xCiencia.2 en Alicante

El congreso, que en esta edición está dedicado a la transferencia de conocimiento y tecnología, reúne representantes de 40 centros y unidades de investigación “Severo Ochoa” y “María de Maeztu”.

Nace la Alianza de centros y unidades de excelencia Severo Ochoa y María de Maeztu

La Secretaria de Estado de I+D+i, Carmen Vela, ha presidido la primera reunión de la nueva Alianza de Excelencia Severo Ochoa y María de Maeztu.

La gentrificación verde puede limitar el efecto favorable que las zonas verdes tienen en la salud

Una investigación del ICTA-UAB y el IMIM sugiere que los vecinos de las clases sociales más desfavorecidas no se benefician por igual de los efectos que la creación de zonas verdes tiene en para la salud.

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Un estudio científico del ICTA-UAB y el ISS-EUR cuantifica el impacto ambiental de los vertidos procedentes de la extracción petrolera en ríos de las cabeceras del Amazonas.

Investigadores del ICTA-UAB alertan que las plantaciones de palma aceitera provocan la infertilidad de los suelos tropicales

Las plantaciones de palma africana de aceite están substituyendo en un 40% los bosques tropicales y en un 32% los pastos naturales y de cultivo de grano básico, según un estudio realizado por investigadores del ICTA-UAB en Guatemala.

ICTA-UAB estudiará el uso sostenible de la tierra y los recursos naturales en el marco del programa COUPLED

El Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) recibirá una dotación económica de medio millón de euros en el marco del proyecto COUPLED, una red de formación innovadora europea financiada por el programa Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions de la Unión Europea.

Científicos del ICTA-UAB identifican las plantas alergénicas de Barcelona con la nueva aplicación Plant*tes

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El EJAtlas alcanza los 2.100 casos de estudio de conflictos socio-ambientales en el mundo

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Un termostato en la edad de hielo evitó el enfriamiento extremo del clima

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La nueva teoría del “a-crecimiento” económico contribuye a la viabilidad de las políticas climáticas

 El investigador del ICTA-UAB, Jeroen van den Bergh publica este mes en Nature Climate Change un estudio que propone una nueva teoría económica compatible con la lucha contra el cambio climático.

Un proyecto europeo analiza los efectos de los residuos generados por el turismo en las islas del Mediterráneo

Un estudio europeo en el que participa el Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analizará y propondrá soluciones a los efectos del incremento de los residuos generados por el turismo durante el período veraniego en las islas del Mediterráneo.

Nueva 'Guía de Bienvenida' al ICTA-UAB

Ya tenéis a vuestra disposición la nueva 'Guía de Bienvenida' del ICTA-UAB. El documento pretende ayudarle a descubrir los fundamentos del programa de doctorado, la estructura de ICTA-UAB, etc.

Relaciones sociales, éxito en la caza y buena salud, fuente de felicidad para los pueblos indígenas

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Noticias
Candidates invited for 3 postdoc and 5 PhD student positions in ERC project of Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh

Fecha: 2017-09-13

Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh’s project “Behavioral-evolutionary analysis of climate policy: Bounded rationality, markets and social interactions” (EVOCLIM), awarded with a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant, offers three postdoc positions (two of 5 years and one of 3 years) and five PhD research positions (each 4 years). The project will run as of January 2018 for a period of 5 years.
 

Project description
The project will develop a new set of models to assess the performance of policy instruments – such as various carbon pricing and information provision instruments – in terms of employment, equity and CO2 emissions. Currently, distinct climate policies are studied with incomparable approaches involving inconsistent criteria and impacts. EVOCLIM aims to unite core features of such approaches within a behavioral-evolutionary framework, blending insights from behavioral, environmental and evolutionary economics. The key novelty is linking climate policies to populations of heterogeneous consumers and producers characterized by bounded rationality and social interactions. This offers three advantages: one can evaluate the effectiveness of very different climate policy instruments in a consistent and comparative way; one can examine policy mixes by considering interaction between instruments from a behavioral as well as systemic perspective; and one can simultaneously assess policy impacts mediated by markets and social networks. 

EVOCLIM will be guided by the following goals: (i) test the robustness of insights on carbon pricing from benchmark approaches that assume representative, rational agents; (ii) test contested views on joint employment-climate effects of shifting taxes from labor to carbon; (iii) examine various instruments of information provision under distinct assumptions about social preferences, interactions and networks; (iv) study regulation of commercial advertising as a climate policy option in the context of status-seeking and high-carbon consumption; and (v) explore behavioral roots of energy/carbon rebound. The research has a general, conceptual-theoretical rather than a particular country focus. Given the complexity of the developed models, it involves numerical analyses with parameter values in realistic ranges, partly supported by insights from questionnaire-based surveys among consumers and firms. One survey examines information provision instruments and social interaction channels, while another assesses behavioral foundations of rebound.

Broader scientific meaning of the project
EVOCLIM is ground-breaking in that it develops the first systematic program on behavioral-evolutionary thinking about climate policy. This creates bridges between environmental economics, behavioral economics, evolutionary economics and modelling, policy sciences, sociology and environmental psychology. It will support a consistent comparison of the full range of regulatory (both pricing and standard-setting) and information-provisioning instruments in climate policy. The project can further provide useful methodological lessons for other areas of public policy from an evolutionary systems angle. In addition, it may broaden the scope of evolutionary economics which so far has paid scant attention to environmental and climate policies. In particular, it contributes to a wave of macro-oriented evolutionary, multi-agent models, which serve as an alternative to both general equilibrium and mainstream macroeconomic models in public policy and economic analyses. The approach will further contribute to the field of energy/sustainability transition studies.

Positions and requirements
The organization of EVOCLIM in terms of sub-projects (SPs) is shown in the scheme below. The project will fund three postdoc positions (two of 5 years in SP1 and SP5, and one of 3 years in SP4) and four PhD researchers (each 4 years, in SP2 and SP3). Cooperation and synergies between the sub-projects will be secured by the two integrative sub-projects SP1 and SP5. The first of these develops the framework and basic models, and can be seen to assure consistency and synergy of SPs at a methodological level. Next, SP5 guides the survey questionnaires and integrates the policy insights produced by the other SPs, on the basis of which it further develops and analyses policy packages. 

Details about the five sub-projects
Specific research questions, addressing general issues, tangible instruments of climate policy, and policy packages, are addressed in 5 sub-projects (SPs) (visualized in the scheme):

1. The first, overarching, integrative sub-project addresses the question: How can we best model the relationship between climate policies, markets, social interactions, innovation-and-diffusion processes, bounded rationality, and heterogeneous agents? This SP aims to develop the general framework, learn from non-environmental macro-evolutionary models, traditional market equilibrium models, climate impact assessment studies and sustainability transition models. It undertakes general, theoretical analyses with these models to understand their structure and behavior, and supports particular elaborations and policy analyses in the other SPs. SP1 is executed by a postdoc researcher who interacts with the other SPs to assure a framework that balances their needs and requests.

2. The second SP examines how carbon pricing, considered by many as a core component of climate policy, functions under conditions of bounded rationality of polluters. Two main questions are addressed in two sub-projects: (2a) What are the differences in performance of carbon pricing under various types of bounded rationality of consumers and firms? This will address carbon taxes and emissions trading, to examine which is more effective under certain types of bounded rationality. The second question is: (2b) what are the innovation, employment and climate impacts of shifting taxes from labor to carbon under bounded rationality? This has been addressed with rational-agent equilibrium models in the “double dividend” literature. SP2b will assess the robustness of its findings with respect to behavioral assumptions by adapting the multi-agent models of SP1 to these questions. In particular, SP2 will assess the extent to which rational-agent studies overestimate the effectiveness and efficiency of carbon pricing. SP2a&b are tackled by 2 closely cooperating PhD students.

3. The third SP examines how information provision strategies in climate policy – like eco-labels, green awards, information campaigns, traditional media, and Internet-based social media – perform in a system characterized by bounded rationality, market processes and social interactions. Two sub-projects address two main questions associated with particular social interactions: (3a) How do different information policies compare in terms of employing imitation behavior, social norms and information diffusion to effectively spread climate-relevant information and exemplary conducts? This involves testing various features of information policies, such as appropriate framing of information provision or using “role models”. The second question is: (3b) How does the interaction of commercial advertising and social comparison driven by status-seeking drive the consumption of certain carbon-intensive goods and services, like cars and holidays, and what does this mean for policy design aimed at influencing such consumption? This involves an analysis of information provision instruments interacting with both carbon pricing and advertising. Modelling in SP3a&b is undertaken by 2 PhD students. They will jointly perform a questionnaire survey to examine how opinions on climate policy, climate relevant behaviors, and social interactions are connected.

4. The fourth SP addresses the behavioral foundations of energy/carbon rebound. It is motivated by the research question: How does bounded rationality of individuals/households and firms contribute to rebound, and how does this affect the estimates of different types of rebound as well as the formulation of “rebound policy”? This involves examining the role of different types of bounded rationality, such as myopia, habits, wrong goals, and connecting these to important rebound channels, like intensity effect, market effects, technological diffusion, etc. The project integrates these elements into a behavioral-evolutionary model to address this issue, which is intended to provide better insight into the relative performance of climate policy instruments on effectiveness, in terms of controlling carbon rebound. In addition, a questionnaire survey is performed to obtain empirical information about behavioral factors underlying rebound. This research is executed by a postdoc researcher.

5. The final SP synthesizes SP2-4 and provides an interface with other disciplines offering insights on climate policy, aimed at answering the question: Which policy packages combine equity, employment and climate goals under bounded rationality and are successful in escaping carbon lock-in? While SPs 2-4 address the performance of single instruments and the comparison of these, here combinations of instruments will be systematically studied, based on close interaction with the other SPs. Instrument complementarity and interaction is an incompletely solved issue in climate policy studies, and has not been systematically addressed in the context of bounded rationality and other-regarding preferences. Given its ambition and integrative character, SP5 is executed by a postdoc researcher.

How to apply
We are looking for suitable candidates with a background in behavioral economics, evolutionary economics, environmental economics, macroeconomics or some combination of these. Candidates from (social) psychology, (evolutionary or mathematical) biology, mathematics and computer science are also welcome to apply. Skills and experience in evolutionary modelling/computation or evolutionary game theory are highly appreciated for the postdoc and PhD student positions in SP1-4. Candidates for the postdoc position in SP5 need to have a good knowledge of climate economics/policy and experience with questionnaire-based surveys. Postdoc candidates should have at least two publications in good international journals. Salaries are competitive and negotiable, reflecting experience and excellence of candidates.

For expression of interest send your Curriculum Vitae, a letter of interest and names of three referents to Prof. van den Bergh via jeroen.bergh@uab.es.

 

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