Invisible hand guiding recent CERE grads?

Brian and JinggangThe August issue of Forest Policy and Economics contains not one but two papers by recent CERE grads Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley. Jinggang, specializing in forest sector modelling, defended his thesis on October 12, 2018. Just a few months later on January 25, 2019, Brian Danley defended his thesis on ecosystem services and forest policy. Apart from publishing in the same issue of the same journal, and defending in close proximity, they have also both chosen to spend the next chapter of their research careers in the US.

Economists often study self-organizing systems in which participants’ behavior is coordinated based on a set of principles, like supply and demand, without explicit cooperation between participants. As Adam Smith famously observed, by taking cues from market prices and pursuing their own self-interest, buyers and sellers pursue courses of action that may appear as if they are guided by an invisible hand. It may have been the magic of uncoordinated organization at work when recent CERE graduates Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley both published their research papers in the same issue of the same journal and choose the same country as their next research destination. (Click on headline to read more)

Time to scrap the flight shame

CERE Professors Bengt Kriström and Per-Olov Johansson claim on Dagens industry (Industry Today) debate, June 20th, 2019 that Swedish air travelers are being taxed three times over. This while decreased emissions in Sweden means increased emissions somewhere else in the EES due to EU-ETS. This also means cheaper emission permits between other foreign EES airports as well as cheaper flight tickets.

Read the full article on Dagens industry (only in Swedish) 

The new battery factory in Skellefteå is not crucial for Norrland.

CERE's Runar Brännlund took on June 15th, 2019 part of a discussion regarding the planned battery factory in Skellefteå. Will it boost Norrland or will the revenues end up somewhere else? Runar finds it hard to believe that it will have any kind of influence on the large area that is Norrland, but if all goes as planned, it will certainly be a boost for Skellefteå and its vicinity.

The program is only available in Swedish. Runar can be heard 4.10 and 8.09 minutes into the program.

Northvolt have been able to raise enough money to begin their plans for a battery factory in Skelleftå. The money comes from a loan but also from investments of 9 billion SEK from for instance the car companies Volkswagen and BMW as well as from the bank Goldman Sachs. Runar finds it very likely, if all goes according to plan, that this will be a boost for Skellefteå and its vicinity. However, for Norrland, being such a large area (about 60% of Sweden), it will most likely not have any kind of influence.

More information (in Swedish) can be found on the Swedish version of this page.

CERE member elected to leadership of UNECE/FAO Team of Specialists

On 3-4 June 2019 the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Timber Section’s Team of Specialists (ToS) on Wood Energy met at the SLU campus in Umeå. Among its obligations, the ToS has a mandate to advise and support the joint UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section’s activities regarding wood energy data and to contribute to a better understanding of wood energy statistics as a basis for sound policy making. The ToS recently released a report on wood energy as the largest source of bioenergy in the UNECE region.

At the meeting, CERE’s Deputy Director Francisco Aguilar was elected to be the new leader of the ToS over the 2019-2021 period. (Click on headline to read more)
Pic Tos WE 4 June2019 webbToS members and SLU faculty members pictured at the SLU campus on 4 June 2019. Photo: Ann-Katrin Israelsson.

Meet Guest Professor Brent Sohngen

Brent SohngrenWe are proud to welcome Professor Brent Sohngen from Ohio State University as guest professor at CERE and SLU. Initially, he will be here from May 27 to June 23, but will return for monthly stays over the next three years. Brent will have his office up at the Department of Forest Economics at SLU. (Click on headline to read more)

There are other values than monetary

The newspaper Östersunds-Posten wrote an article about the 50 largest forest owners in the county of Jämtland. The forest industry has a turn over best counted in billions, but there are other non-monetary values to consider, something that is increasingly discussed. CERE’s Bengt Kriström, who has been working with these issues for many years now, elaborates.

“- What we call non-market-values like for instance recreation, have a tendency to increase with increasing income, and I would say that they have become more important of late. A lot of people see value beyond chopping down the forest.” (Click on headline to read more)

Meet guest researcher Moriah Bostian

The intersection between productivity and the environment a focus area during guest researcher Moriah Bostians stay with CERE this spring.

Moriah will be working closely with CERE’s Tommy Lundgren: - We are currently working to apply network technology estimation methods in order to model the linkages between prevention and treatment technologies for emissions reductions. For example, switching to a lower emissions fuel source would be considered a form of prevention, while installing smoke stack scrubbers would be considered a form of treatment. We are also using similar network methods to better understand the tradeoffs in forest management between harvesting timber for final pulp and paper products, using forest resources to produce biofuel, and net carbon emissions. (Click on headline to read more)

A course+workshop on Behavioral Environmental Economics

oben kurs gruppfotoGiven in 3-6 June 2019. Applications are now open.  

The Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics is organizing a course on behavioural environmental economics. 

Last year we received a prize for the best PhD course given by our Faculty, this motivated us to give the course again. 


Lecture period: June 3, 2019 - June 6, 2019

Deadline for application: 15 March, 2019.

Place: SLU Ultuna Campus, Uppsala, Sweden.

Level: PhD and Masters

-For more detailed and up-to-date information.

-Or visit the official course page on university's website: 

-We also have a group called BEEn (Behavioural Environmental Economics Network) which aims to bring scholars together working on issues related to environmental and resource economics from a behavioural perspective. BEEn collects and disseminate information about related conferences, research and announcements. Learn more about the group and become a member

GDP not ideal when measuring development and welfare

The welfare of the population must be addressed when analyzing the country’s development says the New Zeeland prime minister Jacinda Ardern when launching a new way to measure the welfare of the country. DN asked three economists, one of them Runar Brännlund, about their views on the New Zeeland decision.

“- Can’t imagine any one claiming that GDP is an ideal way to measure development or welfare, it isn’t a good measure. However, it isn’t either or, all measurements are necessary. GDP fulfills it function, says Runar Brännlund, Professor of Economics at Umeå University.”

“- The New Zeeland solution appears to mimic what we call genuine savings or genuine investments that studies how all capital stocks such as natural, human and social capital, in a society changes, says Runar Brännlund.”

Read the full article (only in Swedish), ”Experter gör tummen upp för Nya Zeelands välmående-budget” (Experts gives thumbs up for the New Zeeland welfare budget), published on DN February 21, 2019.

The government focuses on a green shift in taxation

CERE's Runar Brännlund discuss the green shift in taxation with climate- and environmental minister Isabella Lövin.

The government wants to start taxing disposable items, plastic items, chemicals in textiles and shoes, waste and incineration. Furthermore, they want to review the subsidies given to companies that use fossil fuel. Runar Brännlund calls for calm and would rather see the taxation on a global level to avoid Sweden being taken off the market and the emissions continuing just in another country.

(Runar enters at 5.10, only in Swedish)

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