PhD position on Macroeconomic modeling of damage assessments and climate change adaptation
Updated: 20 Jan 2020
This 4-year fully-funded PhD position is part of the ERC Starting Grant project “Scaling up behavior and autonomous adaptation for macro models of climate change damage assessment (SCALAR)”. The SCALAR-research program is made possible thanks to a 1.5 million euro personal grant from the European Research Council.
Damage associated with climate change is a core benchmark in science and policy. Yet, global damage assessments are criticized for neglecting risk distribution, adaptation dynamics beyond top-down public protection, and resilience of communities, cities and regional economies. Micro-level social science studies contain substantial knowledge on individual behavior, decisions under risk and autonomous climate adaptation, and go beyond monetary losses by focusing on resilience. This knowledge can ameliorate theoretical and empirical flaws in current macro assessments, if adequate scaling up methods were to exist. SCALAR aims to connect micro and macro research traditions by modeling the behavioral aspects of autonomous adaptation processes of heterogeneous economic agents, and integrating them into macro level climate policy models. By focusing on floods, the project revisits the classic micro-macro aggregation problem in social sciences. The SCALAR research program consists of three phases. In the first phase we develop and run multi-wave surveys to unfold processes of decision-making of individual households that face flood risks and trace factors affecting their climate adaptation decisions to floods. The project covers 4 case-study coastal and delta cities around the world. The second phase focuses on developing an agent-based model of a regional economy and introducing climate adaptation behavior of economic agents (households and firms). The current PhD position falls under the third phase, which focuses on developing macroeconomic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to integrate adaptation to climate change into macro damage assessments. Here we aspire to link the CGE model with the agent-based model.
The successful candidate will work within the SCALAR research team to explore how various economic sectors in different countries are impacted by floods, how damage functions could be improved, and how individual climate change adaptation options can be integrated, given behavioral biases and economic feedbacks. During this 4-year long project, the PhD student will build up on the existing CGE models and flood damage assessments, and extend them further by introducing climate adaptation decisions of households and businesses by linking to the agent-based modeling. The latter will require alternative considerations and will be further supported by a programmer at the later stages of the project. We connect to the international efforts on economics of climate change adaptation to develop behaviorally-rich economic models with heterogeneous adaptive agents (University of Oxford, UK), assessments of costs and benefits of climate change adaptation (CMCC, Italy) and improve estimates of damage functions in climate-economy Integrated Assessment Models (BC3, Spain).
A candidate should ideally have:
- a Master’s degree in Economics, Econometrics, Environmental Studies or Mathematics;
- capacity to perform (statistical) data analysis with R, STATA or SPSS;
- initial knowledge of GAMS (or other comparable modelling language such as Julia, MATLAB) is a pro;
- previous experience with general (partial) equilibrium economic models or microeconomic modelling is beneficial;
- domain knowledge in the field of coupled social-environmental systems, climate change adaptation or global environmental change in general is an advantage;
- fluent written and spoken English;
- independent research and publication skills.
To apply for this position, please fill in the online application form including (1) your motivation letter, (2) your CV (with the contact details of 2 referees) and (3) a list of publications (if applicable). You may also wish to go directly to www.utwente.nl/vacatures/ and select the current position from the list.
Apply before 3 February 2020. Starting date: 1 March 2020. The position will remain open until filled.
As a PhD candidate you will be appointed on a full-time basis for a period of four years. The gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2.325,- in the first year to € 2.972,- in the final year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition to the attractive salary that comes with generous social security benefits, the position offers the tuition waiver and the conference travel budget. Our Graduate Research School provides a structured PhD program (clear planning, supervision agreements and career development and support). The successful candidate will work directly with Prof. Tatiana Filatova at CSTM, Dr. Olga Ivanova at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Prof. Francesco Bosello at Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC). The candidate will have a chance to pursue research visits at PBL (the Hague) and CMCC (Venice), and collaborate with other PhDs within the ERC SCALAR project and its international partners.
38 hours per week