Economics serving society

PSE - Environment Initiative

The PSE - Environment Initiative is at the heart of Paris School of Economics’s research and teaching programs. It will allow the development of conferences, training, actions towards society and original partnerships, with a plural/multidimensional approach to the environmental transition.


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Paris School of Economics wishes to engage in a multi-dimensional economic approach to environmental issues, which integrates more strongly the behaviors of households and firms, with a focus on an international context, and which takes into account the political constraints and principles of equity that condition the range of possible choices.

- Engage all fields of economic analysis, and beyond in dialogue with other disciplines (OSE), to cover the multiple dimensions of the transition, especially in the societal aspects that fall under the purview of the SHS, which are essential for the success of the transition. Indeed, the challenges of this transition must lead us to innovate on financing mechanisms, international trade, urban planning and land management, agri-food economics, national (environmental) accounting, corporate social responsibility, innovation processes, and to deepen research on democratic governance, cultural and behavioral transformations, migrations, demographic ageing, risk management, environmental and intergenerational ethics, and the principles of public policy evaluation.

- Commit to covering both the "efficiency" and "equity" aspects of environmental transition. These aspects cannot be separated in the presence of externalities and constraints on policies linked to the behavior and motivations of individuals and economic actors. But in many classic works on environmental economics, the "equity" aspect has been relegated to the background. Paris School of Economics, with its capacity for 360° analysis of public policies, and its expertise on inequality issues, is specially equipped to make economics work on its two legs.

The dimensions of PSE - Environment

Energy, Climate
To deepen the conditions for a sustainable and equitable transition to a world with zero net carbon emissions, for companies and households. The aim is to better understand the magnitude of the reallocation costs of this transition, to assess their impacts in terms of stranded assets and green investments and, finally, to draw up the macroeconomic scenarios of the transition and their consequences. See more information.

Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Mobility
Because they account for three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions and consume two thirds of the world’s energy, cities will play a decisive role in the decarbonization of society. For several years now, they have been engaged in a wide range of actions to transform themselves into "zero-carbon" cities by 2050. The scope of decarbonization includes the transition of transport systems, energy efficiency, integrated waste management and the promotion of recycling, as well as investment in sustainable urban infrastructure. This transition is mobilizing all the players in the city, both public and private, urban service operators and industrialists, revealing a new value chain with as yet unclear contours. Citizens are called upon to play a major role, more active than in the past, through the adoption of new behaviors. See more information.

Actor Behaviors and Public Regulation
The environmental transition involves many individuals and organizations with complex behavioral traits, diverse viewpoints and conflicting interests, feeding complex political processes. Too often approached through the prism of the production model, these transitions must be studied by putting the actors back at the center of the analysis. See more information.

Development, Globalization
It is the productive models that must be deeply modified on a planetary scale through the reorganization of international value chains. International treaties on trade and environmental rules must allow cooperation between countries, where there are temptations of competition and opportunistic behavior. All of these issues are equally urgent for all countries, but in ways that are certainly different for emerging countries, especially developing countries, whose specificities must be taken into account to avoid doubling the environmental crisis with a development crisis. See more information.

Ethics, Inequality, Political Economy
The enlargement of the problematic must certainly go as far as integrating the questions of inter and intra-generational equity as well as the modes of deliberation and collective decision making of citizens in order to measure and contribute to the social acceptability of the transitions at stake. The question of redistributive effects and inequalities generated by environmental policies is an essential social dimension that can no longer be left aside. See more information.

Interdisciplinary Opening
The Opening Economics Initiative (OSE) embodies the ambitious goal that PSE has had since its inception to open up economics, both internally by deepening its core paradigm, and externally by exploring its boundaries and links with other disciplines. The OSE Initiative is interdisciplinary and carries various projects whose specificity is to bring together Paris School of Economics’s economists and researchers from other disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach will be particularly useful for the environmental transition. See more information.