Grant to study links between the economy and the biosphere

News

A group of economists at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has received five million krona in project funding from the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation. The group includes GEDB researchers Johan Gars and Gustav Engström (also at the Beijer Institute) and Chandra Kiran from the Beijer Institute. The project aims to study how biophysical processes interact with socio-economics.

Gustav Engström, Johan Gars and Chandra Kiran have been granted five million Swedish krona to investigate the links between the macroeconomy and biophysical processes. One objective is to study the importance these links have for the use of economic measures in relation to global environmental problems. In addition to this research group, the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation has granted five million each to three other project groups in economics at Uppsala University, Stockholm School of Economics and Lund University.

"The four research groups to receive funding this year have all clearly demonstrated how increased added value can arise through close co-operation. The interdisciplinary content is also apparent in all four groups” said Kjell Blückert, MD of the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation. 2015 is the second year in which the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation, through a general call, has granted funding to projects in economic science.

About the research project

This research project aims to study the links between the macroeconomy and the biophysical process which at global level regulate the habitats on Earth. During the past century, the scope of human activity has greatly increased, as has the associated impact on a number of global biophysical processes. An overarching perspective is important since many sectors in the global macroeconomy are affected by, and affect, biophysical processes. Obvious examples of such sectors are food production and energy. The researchers want to create an overall picture of how different biophysical processes relate to each other and interact with the socio-economy in general.

"We are very grateful for this funding, which will allow us to investigate how these processes are related” said Gustav Engström. "Economic instruments are today often skewed towards a certain problem and can therefore have unexpected consequences within other sectors. We hope that in the long run, our research can help improve the use of economic instruments to handle various global environmental problems at the same time, including climate change”.