Field and Lab Experiments in Climate Policy

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Max Weber Programme Multidisciplinary Workshop

in Collaboration with FSR Climate (RSCAS)

Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 14:00 -18:45

Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana

Climate change presents unique challenges to the social sciences. Reaching beyond the bounds of the natural sciences, climate change has profound implications for whole societies that necessitate interdisciplinary inquiry.

This workshop deals with the analysis of various behavioural issues in climate change policy.

In Autumn 2015, two leading figures in the field of climate change economics and policy, Prof. Martin Weitzman and Lord Nicholas Stern delivered public lectures at the EUI. Both stressed the uniqueness and the unprecedented scale of the challenge posed by climate change to humanity. A challenge that calls for enhanced investment in innovative methods for social analysis. The tools and techniques of economics need to be complemented by methods adopted in political science, sociology and psychology to better understand human behaviour and decision-making processes.

Experimental methods have recently attracted a great deal of interest. Expectations for the evidence they may be able to uncover suggest that they may help inform more effective climate policy.

Last December, leaders from around the globe met in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. COP21 is a long waited step towards tackling climate change.  However, many voices raised the idea that such an agreement will pass into history as mere play to the gallery, because it is full of (nationally determined) good intentions and empty of real binding commitments. What are the prospects for effectively implementing such an agreement?

This technical workshop will discuss the application of experimental methods and research techniques, with a special focus on how they might be used to guide and better understand climate policy.

Invited Speakers and Presentation Titles:

Prof. Valentina Bosetti (Bocconi University), “Expectations and beliefs of Climate Negotiators”

Prof. Marco Casari (Bologna University), “Carbon is forever: a climate change experiment on cooperation”

Prof. Todd Cherry (Appalachian State University), “Why do people oppose solutions to climate change?”


Introduction  (MW Fellow)

Session I: Prof. Valentina Bosetti “Expectations and beliefs of Climate Negotiators

Session I Discussion and Debate Chaired by MW Fellow Jordi Teixido-Figueras

Session II: Prof. Marco Casari “Carbon is forever: a climate change experiment on cooperation

Session II Discussion and Debate Chaired by MW Fellow Martina Bozzola

Coffee Break

Session III: Prof. Todd Cherry “Why do people oppose solutions to climate change?”

Session III Discussion and Debate Chaired by Dr. Stefano Verde, FSR Climate RSCAS

Concluding Remarks – Professor Xavier Labandeira, Director, FSR Climate

 Intended Audience:

This workshop theme shall be of particular interest to:

– Economists: to discuss the technicalities and new opportunities that experimental methods can provide to the understanding of human behaviour, where standard economics tools fail to underpin the complexity of decision-making in climate change policy.

– Policymakers: to understand the new tools at their disposal and to better appreciate how informed policy making in climate change could be made.

– Political scientists and sociologists: to identify where and how they can work with economists and policymakers to contribute substantially to this field. In particular, to enhance our collective understanding of how human behaviour is best understood analytically and thought about empirically when formulating climate change policy and negotiation mechanisms in the field.

Organisers: The workshop is organized by four Max Weber Fellows, covering a range of Max Weber disciplines: Martina Bozzola (RSCAS – ECO); Jordi Teixido (RSCAS – ECO), Berniell Ines (ECO) and Jack Seddon (SPS) in collaboration with the FSR Climate Unit of RSCAS: Prof. Xavier Labandeira, (Director, FSR Climate), Dr. Stefano Verde (Research Associate FSR Climate – RSCAS), Dr. Claudio Marcantonini (Deputy Director FSR Climate – RSCAS).

Speakers Biographies:

Professor Valentina Bosetti

Professor Valentina Bosetti is an associate professor at Bocconi University, teaching environmental and climate change economics. She is also Fellow at Fondazione Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change. Prof. Bosetti was one of the lead authors of the 5th AR IPCC (2014).   Prof. Bosetti’s research areas cover Natural Resources and Environmental Economics, Climate Change Economics and Innovation in Green Technologies. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an ERC Grant: Innovation for Climate chAnge mitigation: a study of energy R&d, its Uncertain effectiveness and Spillovers

She is past president of the Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (IAERE) and council member of the European one (EAERE).

Professor Marco Casari

Professor Marco Casari is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Economics of the University of Bologna. He earned a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, US and held positions at Ohio State University, the Autonoma University in Barcelona, and Purdue University. Professor Casari was Fernand Braudel Fellow at EUI from September 2014 to August 2015, working on Cooperation and Identities in European Societies. He also thought the advanced course on Experimental Economics at the EUI Economics Department this academic year.

His research is about the foundations of cooperation in societies from both an institutional and a behavioral perspective. His recent projects employ laboratory experiments to study cooperation in global climate change, the emergence of money as a medium of exchange, the regional divides in terms of civicness, and cooperation in continuous time. His publications have appeared, among others, in Econometrica, the American Economic Review, PNAS, the Economic Journal, Games and Economic Behavior, Experimental Economics, Journal of Economic History. Casari has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council and financial support from the Russel Sage Foundation, the European Commission, the Italian Government, and other public and private institutions.

Professor Todd Cherry

Professor Todd Cherry is Professor at the Department of Economics of Appalachian State University,  Director, Center for Economic Research & Policy Analysis and Senior Research Fellow, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO). He earned a Ph.D in Economics, University of Wyoming, US.

His latest book is titled Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance (edited with J. Hovi and D. McEvoy) London UK: Routledge, 2014. Prof. Cherry’s work focuses on public policy at the intersection of institutions, behavioural, politics, environmental, energy and regional economic development. Prof. Cherry has published extensively on these topics in leading academic journals, including Environmental and Resource Economics, Nature, Resource and Energy Economics, Energy Policy. He is editor (with J. Shogren and S. Kroll) of the volume “Environmental economics, experimental methods” (Routledge, 2007).

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