Skip to main content



Sterner at the Resource 2012 in Oxford: Property rights are key for resource efficiency

When choosing policy instruments to manage our planet´s resources we need to think about both efficiency and fairness, said Professor Thomas Sterner when he was invited as Visiting Chief Economist of the Environmental Defense Fund to address the prestigious global conference Resource 2012 in Oxford. Other speakers included David Attenborough, Bill Clinton, Amartya Sen and Hans Rosling.


Eggert discusses sustainable fisheries in the EU

Håkan Eggert, Associated Professor in Environmental Economics, University of Gothenburg, is one of the panelists in a European Parliament panel discussion on Sustainable fisheries in the EU – getting incentives right on April 25. Other panelists are other researchers, a Swedish Fishermen’s Federation representative and Members of the European Parliament such as Isabella Lövin, author of the renowned book Silent Seas (Tyst hav).


Sterner speaks at European Parliament about managing fishing overcapacity

Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Gothenburg, speaks at a public hearing on the subject “The feasibility of Transferable Fishing Concessions in the context of Common Fisheries Policy Reform” organized by The Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament on 24 April, at 15.30-18.30.


Global competition for land threatens poor people's land rights

The first open seminar in a series organized by Land Rights Research Initiative (LARRI) discusses, with examples from Africa, how the growing demand for land for commercial investments threatens to deprive poor rural households of their access to land. It also discusses what scope there is and what measures are required to turn this development into a positive outcome at the local level.


Sterner interviewed in Africa Renewal about Nigerian petrol subsidies

Professor Thomas Sterner is interviewed in the April issue of the renowned magazine, Africa Renewal, published by the Strategic Communications Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. "The next time the government contemplates removing the subsidy, it must be "more careful"," argues Sterner.


Sterner speaks in the French Parliament about the Swedish tax reform

"Perspectives on a comprehensive tax reform – Experiences from Sweden and challenges for France” is the topic of a conference in the French parliament on Thursday March 15. Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Gothenburg, will present the advantages and difficulties of the approach adopted in Sweden.


Adaptation to Climate Change Workshop held in Gothenburg

Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan African countries. In this regard, adaptation mechanisms to climate change play a paramount role in reducing the impact on agricultural productivity and food security. With this motivation, the EfD-EEU in Gothenburg, hosted a first collaborative research workshop on the theme “adaptation to climate change in African agriculture” in Gothenburg, Sweden, February 9-10, 2012.


Great interest in the critique of fuel subsidies in Indonesian press

Indonesian news media showed great interest in a lecture given by Thomas Sterner at the second Annual Conference of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAAERE) at Bandung, Indonesia, on February 2-4. More than 20 news articles were published online, most of them about fuel subsidies, prices and taxes. The number of articles published in the printed press of Indonesia is not known.


PhD programme in Climate Economics at the University of Gothenburg

The Environmental Economics Unit (EEU) at the University of Gothenburg offers five full scholarships in a PhD programme in Climate Economics with admission September 2012. (Assuming the program will be financed). This program will be a continuation of the former program but with a heavier emphasis on Climate change as the prime environmental problem of our time.


Sterner keynote lecturer at EAAERE 2012 in Indonesia

Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics in University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a fellow at Resource for the Future (RFF), is invited to give a keynote lecture on “The Design of Environmental Policy Instrument: Efficiency, Informational Requirements and Political Feasibility”at the 2nd Annual Conference of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAAERE) at Bandung, Indonesia, on February 2-4, 2012.


New edition:Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management

This book by Thomas Sterner and Jessica Coria is an attempt to encourage more widespread and careful use of economic policy instruments. The book compares the accumulated experiences of the use of economic policy instruments in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in rich and poor countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ambitious in scope, it discusses the design of instruments that can be employed in any country in a wide range of contexts, including transportation, industrial pollution, water pricing, waste, fisheries, forests, and agriculture.


How Regressive Are Fuel Taxes? A Comparison of Countries from Around the World

Thomas Sterner makes the latest addition to RFF policy commentary series with a piece on whether fuel taxes are indeed regressive. Raising fuel taxes could significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollution from the transportation sector. One of the prime arguments against raising fuel taxes is the perception that they are regressive — that they are more costly to the poor and other socioeconomic groups. But recent research suggests the opposite, particularly for developing countries.


Khanh´s research highlighted in Dutch national newspaper

In his doctoral thesis, economist Nam Pham Khanh shows that people are generally willing to cooperate and that social influences strongly affect how much individuals choose to contribute to a shared resource. His research was featuring in a half-page article in the Science part of NRC Handelsblad, one of the major national newspapers in the Netherlands, April 13, 2011:


Forest Tenure Impact Evaluation Workshop at World Bank completed

The Environment for Development initiative arranged a Forest Tenure Impact Evaluation Workshop on April 21, in connection to the World Bank’s annual conference on land and poverty in Washington D.C. on April 18-20. Recent developments in forest management institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania were reviewed during this workshop, and a potential impact evaluation program for forest tenure reform in East Africa was discussed. The workshop was held on Thursday April 21 and was open for all conference participants.


Brazilian beef is worse for the environment than we think

Increased Brazilian beef exports indirectly lead to deforestation in the Amazon region. The environmental effect is much larger than previously indicated, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and SIK published in Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers are demanding that indirect effects of land use changes be considered when estimating a product’s carbon footprint.


Climate tax on meat and milk results in less greenhouse gases

A climate tax corresponding to €60/ton CO2eq on meat and milk could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from European agriculture by around seven per cent. If the land made available is used for bioenergy production, the decrease in emissions can be six times greater. This is shown by the researchers Kristina Mohlin, Stefan Wirsenius and Fredrik Hedenus in an article published in the scientific journal Climatic Change.


How can people interact to solve environmental issues?

Plans for the research program Human Cooperation to Manage Natural Resources were elaborated on January 17-19 at Indiana University in Bloomington. Project partners are Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom's research group at Indiana University, Resources for the Future in Washington, and the Environmental Economics Unit, University of Gothenburg.


Do contributions to public goods increase if publicly disclosed?

Public disclosure of companies’ pollution habits has been an effective method of reducing pollution in many countries. Similarly, research has shown that people’s and firms’ propensity to contribute to public good increases if their contributions are made public. Economist Clara Villegas Palacio has studied the effects of different extents of public disclosure. Her findings reveal that the expected positive effect of disclosure can sometimes be crowded out by other factors at play.


Soil knowledge can improve environment and save lives

Knowledge about soil can reduce damage to the environment and save lives. This is what environmental economist Anders Ekbom shows in his doctoral thesis on soil capital, land use and agricultural production in Kenya. Such knowledge is important for a large number of developing countries in Africa, Asia and Central America.


One-child policy in China

The objectives of this field study are: (1) to implement a set of experiments to investigate the effect of the one-child policy on; (2) to collect data of peoples’ back-ground and in particular if they were born right before or right after the policy was implemented. By implementing this experiment, it is possible to estimate the effect of the policy in a set of preferences such as cooperativeness, risk attitudes and time consistency.


Valuation and effects of the congestion charge in Beijing

This project about the congestion charge in Beijing is in three parts. Each part will look at different aspects of the congestion charge, one is on valuation of travel time, the other will analyse the effects of the congestion charge policy on different commuting modes and the experiment is on hypothetical bias and individuals stated preferences in transportation studies. 


Social Learning, Gender, and Willingness-to-pay for Solar Lanterns

This project is an attempt to better understand the effects of social networks on the diffusion and adoption of new technologies. In particular, we investigate if having friends or relative that had a chance to experience solar lanterns for their personal use increases an individual's willingness to pay for a solar lantern.


Managing habitat exchanges for multiple ecosystem services

Our focus in this project is on the interactions between multiple eco-services programs, e.g., between: two offsets programs aimed to lower costs for different eco-services; two payments programs to increase different eco-services; or one offsets program and one payments program that are each targeting a different eco-service.


Fairness versus efficiency – how procedural concerns affect coordination in a Volunteer’s Dilemma

This research project will study if and how procedural fairness concerns affect coordination such as in the provision on threshold public goods. The provision of such goods can be modeled as a coordination game with several, non-pareto-rankable equilibria. Without any additional mechanisms, coordination on an efficient equilibrium has proven to be difficult: Who should contribute, and how much? For example, in the case where the contribution of one individual is enough to provide the public good: Who should be the volunteer?


Do the Poor Overweigh Low Probability Events?

In this project, we implement carefully designed field experiments in urban Tanzania to investigate if poor households do overweigh low-probability events. We also investigate time preference behaviors of the same subjects.


Dishonesty behavior: a natural field experiment with Tanzanian farmers

In this project, our research question is: What is the level of dishonesty in an anonymous natural field experiment and are norms activated that reduces the level of dishonesty from any of the two treatments? We conduct a natural field experiment and the subjects are Tanzanian farmers that were interviewed on farming activities and socio-economic conditions and participated in risk and time preference experiments.


Strategic ignorance in purchasing decisions

The aim of this project is twofold. First, by testing the theory of strategic ignorance in real purchase decisions, we analyze whether the existing lab results are transferable to everyday decisions of consumers. Second, if evidence is found in favor of strategic ignorance, it can have important implications for environmental policy because it sheds light on the efficiency of information provision to consumers by using for example eco- labels and certifications.


A malaria project in Kenya

The project includes two studies. One project is on possible differences in subjective and objective risks in four different zones with different malaria exposure, and whether a person´s subjective risk can explain his/her use of bed nets. The other is on the problem of resistance in malaria medication.