CEE-M receives significant support from the French National Research Agency (ANR), the main funder of public research and research partnerships in France.
It also benefits from the financial support of the AFB, CIFOR, FEDER, INRA, Labex Cemeb, the MUSE initiative and the french Region Occitanie.
Our current projects
The international teaming project BIOPOLIS aims at upgrading CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, University of Porto) to a Centre of Excellence for Research, Development and Innovation. More specifically, the project aims at developing a Centre of excellence in Environmental Biology, Ecosystem Research and AgroBiodiversity, with the willingness to spread excellence towards innovation in the areas of Environment, Biodiversity and Agriculture, and thus to contribute to socioeconomic development at the regional and national levels.
These goals will be achieved through scientific teaming with the University of Montpellier, and with the participation of a business partner (Porto Business School). CEE-M is taking part in this project, and is the only research unit of the consortium specializing in social sciences.
The CONFINOBS project seeks at identifying the determinants of the propensity to adopt and follow the recommendations of prevention and containment with respect to the spread of Covid-19 virus. The basic premise is that this propensity is determined by individuals’ personal characteristics of the individual: their risk-preferences, impatience, self-control and social preferences (e.g., altruism, generosity, trust and cooperativeness). The main objective is to identify the effect of these behavioral dimensions on compliance with containment measures and adoption of barrier gestures. Their knowledge is an essential prerequisite for designing more effective non-coercive instruments, such as monetary and non-monetary incentives (nudges), to better target communication during and after the crisis, and to increase its impact on behavior.
The project combines several experimental tools which allow to precisely measure the different behavioral dimensions (e.g., risk aversion, impatience, altruism or trust) based on incentivized tasks. Some measures, including risk preferences, will be doubled by declarative measures and genotyping, in order to provide converging evidence of the robustness of the main determinants. We further implement a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to document individuals’ willingness to comply with the binding measures. We also test the effectiveness of a « nudge » that was designed to encourage individuals to comply. Our results will be used to determine the right levers of actions for effective communication towards target audiences, with a view to, for example, adopt the observance of barrier gestures.
Renewable natural resources are under constant threat of overuse, especially if (i) of common pool nature, and (ii) mobile, as resource users have strategic incentives to extract more than the socially efficient amount. Two prominent and still unresolved cases in Europe are overfishing and overuse of groundwater resources. New, scientifically sound policy approaches are needed, as these resources face changing and increasing risks: On the one hand, climate change will alter volatility in the regeneration of the resource as well as potential tipping points in its dynamics of movement. On the other hand, patterns of resource use shape risks and thus lead to ‘endogenous risks’. Research on these issues so far focused on rational, risk-neutral actors – an assumption in sharp contrast to evidence from behavioral economics. CRaMoRes sets up a new theory and model, considering different types of individual behavior under risk, including risk aversion and state-dependent risk preferences. We study how changes in climate forcing and endogeneous risks affect the strategic incentives for resource (over-) use of mobile common pool resources. CRaMoRes analyzes and proposes new, adaptive policy approaches, including rights-based, market-based, and information-based management. To assess the distributional consequences of changing risks, we use recently developed criteria of social evaluation in risky situations. CRaMoRes will experimentally test the implications of different policy approaches in the lab. We quantify and test the newly conceived policy approaches for two case studies: the Baltic fishery and the Upper Rhine aquifer.
Questioned on the 4/1000 initiative on soil carbon (C) sequestration to face climate change (CC), several Labex Agro units and their partners propose to pull together their research capacities in order to provide new insights in soil C sequestration, the DSCATT project proposes to explore the potential for sequestering C in cultivated soils, taking into account the sustainability of agricultural practices in the context of global changes. DSCATT operates at 4 sites (in Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and France). The project addresses 3 interrelated scales of fields, farms or territories. CEE-M contributes to work package 3 “socioeconomic, policy and environmental levers for long-term soil C sequestration at the territory level” aiming to analyse innovative policy instruments to trigger the necessary changes in farming practices that increase C storage in soils.
The aim of this project is to implement and evaluate incentive mechanims to reduce domestic water consumption and improve waste sorting. We will design incentives based on social norms (belonging to a group and comparison with peers) via different media (digital, physical…) and test them at the household level. The methodological approach will combine behavioral economics and sociology through a collaborative research project between CEE-M and LyRE / SUEZ. We will rely on experimental (lab) and empirical approaches through Randomized Control Trials (RCTs).
The objective of this project is to offer concrete solutions, both political and organisational, that decision-makers and stakeholders can implement directly. The effectiveness of each proposal will be assessed through laboratory and field studies, action research approaches, and large-scale simulation models.
The project is coordinated by Julie Subervie, from the Centre for Environmental Economics in Montpellier (CEE-M), and congregates a wide variety of researchers on economy, sociology, law, and even on management sciences. Sixteen INRAE research units have collaborated with the project, together with associated universities and partners from other higher institutions in the field of agronomy.
Curbing deforestation in developing countries may be a cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. But how to prevent the deforestation of forest lands in areas where landowners depend, for their livelihood, on slash-and-burn agriculture and extensive cattle ranching, two primary drivers of deforestation? The dilemma of food security and climate change in the Brazilian Amazon has been a major concern of the international community for many years now and a variety of solutions has been considered. For some years, offering payments for environmental services (PES) contracts to small landowners has emerged as a potential strategy that may achieve both food security and conservation goals in Brazil. Despite the incentives they offer, however, voluntary PES programs may not be effective in curbing deforestation rates at the end.
The Forest4Food project aims at providing answers to three major questions concerning the effectiveness of this type of program: To what extent can voluntary PES programs contribute to avoid deforestation while maintaining food security? Can one design PES contracts that solve the problem of selection effect? Can one further improve the efficiency of PES contracts by including a conservation target determined according to individual opportunity costs?
AAP Kim Waters, “Sea & Coast”Local adaptation at risk on the Barbary Tongue (Senegal)
For centuries, the habitat of the villagers of Guet Ndar (Senegal) is exposed to floods of the Senegal River and marine submersions. The high exposure to natural hazards (submersion, flooding) of the population suggests that its inhabitants have adapted to this unique environment, through the selection of the most suitable gene varieties. The project aims at investigating the hypothesis of local adaptation to risk for the inhabitants of Guet Ndar. Local adaptation is possible when three conditions are met: (1) the average migration distance is smaller than the size of the risky area, (2) the behavioral trait adapted to the risky environment (risk tolerance) is transmissible, and (3) living in the risky area provides material benefits that compensate for the exposure to risk. It is highly probable that these conditions are met in the village of Guet Ndar: (1) the migration rate is low, especially among the population of fishermen who pass on their inheritance (canoes, houses, …) to their descendants, (2) the targeted gene, DRD4, is endowed with exceptional variability and is transmissible and (3) the risky area gives access to fisheries resources that have historically been abundant. The risky area (Barbary tongue) is a narrow strip of land of 250 meters in its widest width that extends for about 900 meters in the populated area. Almost all the inhabitants are born there, just like their ancestors. The fishermen of Guet Ndar are renowned for their know-how, not only in Senegal but in several neighboring coastal countries, where they are often recruited to transmit their fishing techniques developed over generations. Fishermen represent the target population of our study because they are most likely to have adapted to local conditions, an adaptation that is expressed by their greater propensity to take risks compared to non-fishermen.
Coordination: Omar Sene & Marc Willinger
Research team: Gwen-Jiro Clochard (CREST, Ecole Polytechnique), Charlotte Faurie (ISEM, CNRS), Guillaume Hollard (CREST, CNRS), Clément Mettling (ISEM, CNRS), Michel Raymond (ISEM, CNRS), Omar Sene (Université Alioune Diop, Bambey , Sénégal), Marc Willinger (CEE-M, UM).
Floods cause major damage and disruption around the world. However, more and more people choose to settle in flood-prone areas in order to benefit from natural or urban amenities and lower property prices.
The main objective of the project is to understand the effect of information about floods on households’ residential choices, taking into account the trade-offs that households make between amenities and flood risk. The project is carried out in seven municipalities along the Mediterranean arc in France, and contains a survey of 700 households.
1) In a first axis, we estimate the price differential in flood-prone and non-flood-prone areas, taking into account the natural and urban amenities of the areas as well as information on floods.
2) In a second axis, we carry out a Choice Experiment, and assess the values of risks and amenities in the choice of residence, considering the individual characteristics of the respondents.
3) In a third axis, we evaluate the effectiveness of different information policies regarding floods. In particular, we study the effect of additional information disclosure (containing the description of concrete consequences of floods), and the effectiveness of two existing policies, flood risk prevention plans (PPRi) and buyer-tenant information (IAL).
The project is carried out in collaboration with UMR BETA (Nancy, France).
The impacts of future climatic conditions on agriculture and marine fisheries are expected to be widespread, complex, geographically variable, and mostly unfavorable, particularly in tropical countries where human development and health are of serious concern. Here we hypothesize that coastal towns and villages close to marine protected areas (MPAs) can better alleviate poverty in the context of land desertification than their counterparts without any management action on nearby marine ecosystems. We propose to test the link between biodiversity protection and economic development over a long time period (up to 20 years) by combining the most up-to-date (i) spatially gridded socioeconomic information, (ii) satellite imagery analyses, (iii) artificial intelligence and (iv) in situ observations in developing countries of the Mozambique channel..
While greater GDP per capita has often been assimilated with higher society welfare in the past, following the persuasive arguments of A.K. Sen (Commodities and Capabilities, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1985), it is now widely accepted among the economic profession that a person’s well-being comprises many other dimensions than income. The need for a more comprehensive approach to well-being has been reiterated by the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission that further recommended that the distribution among the citizens of well-being and of its different components is taken into account in the computation of social welfare. The recognition of the multidimensional nature of well-being has given rise to distinct approaches among which the construction of dashboard indices and composite measures has played a prominent role. Focusing on each dimension of well-being in isolation, the dashboard approach fails to provide an overall view of the society’s performance. The Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations, that incorporates the three essential dimensions of a person’s well-being (namely, income, health and education), is a follow-up of Sen’s ideas. More recently, the Better Life Index (BLI) of the OECD has extended the scope of the HDI by introducing eight dimensions in addition to those used in the computation of the HDI.
While they represent notable advances in the measurement of the overall performance of the society and, beyond that, of the well-being of its members, both the HDI and the BLI are not exempt of deficiencies. The HDI and the BLI are aggregate indices and, as such, they do not care much of the distribution among the population of the different attributes that contribute to a person’s well-being, not to speak of the distribution of well-being in the society. By combining aggregates – one for each attribute – without paying attention to the possible associations between the different dimensions of well-being, the HDI and the BLI leave aside important determinants of a society’s welfare like the exposure and vulnerability of the individuals to various sorts of risks. Finally, by transforming heterogenous data into distributions of scores for each attribute and applying to them standard measures, the HDI and the BLI neglect the fact that the prime data are of different nature, ranging from cardinally-measurable attributes (like income) to variables involving ordered categories (like health status).
Building on the fiction of the paternalistic ethical observer, we propose to construct measures of socio-economic performance and well-being that (i) acknowledge the multidimensional nature of well-being, (ii) pay due attention to the distribution and interaction between the attributes, and (iii) take full account of the measurability nature of the attributes. These measures will make one able to provide answers to questions of interest for the policy-maker and the general public like the following:
- Q1. Can we correctly claim that our health system guarantees equal access to medical care whatever the circumstances of the individuals? Is a move in direction to the British health care system likely to reduce the inequalities of health statuses among the population?
- Q2. Does the poor performance on average of French students at the PISA tests go along with high inequalities in the distributions of the scores suggesting that the French educational system might be doubly inefficient?
To which extent inequalities – provided that there is evidence of such inequalities – in reading, mathematics and problem solving are related to the socio-economic characteristics of the parents and more generally to their origins?
- Q3. Is ex-post redistribution by means of progressive tax-benefit systems more effective in reducing the long run income inequalities than an ex-ante redistributive policy that would tax more heavily the intergenerational transmission of wealth?
ReCROP aims to redesign Mediterranean agrosystems with improved resilience capacity and higher productivity, focusing on the development of sustainable agricultural production systems through the combined use of biotechnological tools and environmentally friendly agronomic practices. This will allow farming systems to face climate change through the improvement of below and aboveground biodiversity, fertility, and water conservation. RECROP uses the novel approach of plant-microorganism management that relies on the increase of soils functions and health by using bioinocula, amendments, cropping systems, and climate-ready crops, to increase crop yields while providing ecological services, e.g., increasing carbon sequestration, organic matter, nutrient cycling and water conservation. ReCROP covers the Mediterranean Geographical Area (MGA), involving Morroco, Egypt, Tunisia (South MGA), Italy and France (North MGA), and Portugal and Spain (West MGA), and incorporates major crops cultivated in these countries – vineyards, cereals, and aromatic/medicinal plants. CEE-M’s contribution will focus on characterizing from a socioeconomic point of view the main drivers to encourage farmers to switch towards greener practices and promote their acceptability, and fostering innovative sustainable solutions for ecological farming systems involving the views of local stakeholders and providing guidelines to improve the resilience of Mediterranean target crops.
Four groups of indirect effects are thus studied, measured and integrated into the environmental report. First, the consequences of additional harvesting on the dynamics of carbon fluxes and stocks in the forest by coupling LCA to the regionalized forest growth model developed in a previous project. Second, the effect of technological gains on carbon emissions in wood products and their non-wood substitutes using a macroeconomic model.
Third, emissions induced by competition between wood products and between forest and other land uses by coupling the FFSM forest sector model to the Nexus Land Use land use model. Finally, the CEE-M team analyzes the emissions related to rebound effects and moral compensation effects among consumers of wood products using experimental economics.
The national strategy for coastline management advocates « spatial recomposition » to adapt to the effects of rising sea levels and sea flooding. Such a policy requires a broader vision of land-use planning, including risks, for which adaptive trajectories and progressive public actions may be useful.
The objective of this project is to study the applicability of a progressive public action for the management of coastal areas. In the first axis, we will co-construct dynamic adaptive policy pathways with coastal managers, taking into account the constraints of their working context. In the second axis, we will analyze how residents perceive the trajectories of progressive public action and how they make individual trade-offs in this context. Overall, the project will study the relevant time horizon to be taken into account and the management sequences to be chosen for an operational and acceptable progressive policy. A third axis is dedicated to several educational activities for students as well as coastal managers.
The project is conducted in three French regions: Nouvelle Aquitaine, Occitanie and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It is carried out in collaboration with UMR CEPEL (Montpellier, France), UR ETTIS (Bordeaux, France) and UMR ESPACE (Marseille, France).
The TYPOCLIM project is focused on policy instruments to facilitate agricultural adaptation to Climate Change (CC). The TYPOCLIM project aims at developing a baseline descriptive typology of policy instruments designed to facilitate agricultural adaptation to CC based on mapping of existing instruments at eight study sites in developing countries (South Africa, Senegal, Brazil and Colombia) and developed countries (Catalonia-Spain, California-USA, Occitanie-France and Guadeloupe-France) / several agricultural sectors (viticulture, horticulture – mangos – and market gardening), which in turn are subject to different climate shocks (irregular growing seasons, excessive heat, water shortages, etc.), and at assessing the different performances of public policy instruments that promote the adaptation of diversified agricultural areas to CC. By focusing specifically on policy instruments, the TYPOCLIM project will carry out interdisciplinary research—combining political science, economics, sociological, geographical, biological and agricultural analyses—to shed fresh light on existing policy instruments.
Our contribution mainly relies on the analysis of the extent to which farmers would be ready to adopt the most efficient policy instruments to cope with CC. This will involve determining farmers’ preferences with regards to the adoption of policy instruments through experimental methods.
Our past projects
The project aims to analyze the effects of macroeconomic policies, both monetary and fiscal, regulations related to information disclosure, and introduction of financial instruments within analytical frameworks that are based on more realistic behavioral foundations.
We will conduct research both at the individual and collective levels by combining laboratory experiments, computational experiments, and mathematical modeling, while paying a close attention to how individual decisions are aggregated into collective outcomes how collective outcomes feedback into individual decisions.
Efficient management of epidemics aims atCEE allocating efforts in the most efficient way.
The choice problem is an optimization one in which epidemics dynamics is to be accounted for as an additional constraint to the decision problem.
The key of the project is to study where to allocate effort, how to allocate it and when.
The project is an interdisciplinary one at the intersection between economics, epidemiology and phythopathology and it gathers scientists from the three disciplines and engage simultaneously two Ph.d thesis, one in economics, the other in epidemiology.
Les nouvelles technologies offrent de nouveau moyens pour améliorer la gestion des ressources en eau dans les territoires. Pour donner leur pleine mesure, elles doivent cependant s’accompagner de modification des comportements individuels et collectifs. Cela requiert une compréhension fine des effets de comportement (mimétisme, norme sociale, etc.) de manière à pouvoir proposer des dispositifs innovants pour renforcer l’efficacité de l’action publique et pour améliorer son acceptabilité et sa légitimité. Ce projet propose trois directions d’analyse 1/ évaluer l’impact des compteurs communicants sur la consommation individuelle des agriculteurs, 2/ proposer et évaluer des « interventions » utilisant les compteurs communicants pour réduire la consommation individuelle des agriculteurs, 3/ identifier des mécanismes efficaces pour inciter à l’adoption volontaire de compteurs communicants par les irrigants. Le projet est fondé principalement sur des approches d’économie comportementale, et il s’appuie sur l’expertise technique de la Compagnie d’Aménagement des Coteaux de Gascogne (CACG) en matière de gestion territoriale de l’eau. Les analyses empiriques seront conduites sur les cas d’études situés en région Occitanie, en concertation avec la CACG, partenaire technique du projet.
In the near future, the CAP will undergo through a process of change and restructuring, both for the need to revise and reform its policy instruments and to account for the outcomes of EU budget reshape. As a first step, the EU Commission is gathering stakeholders’ comments and suggestions on its document « Communication on Modernizing and Simplifying the CAP”, prefiguring five possible development options for the future CAP. In this context, the CAPTION Project aims at contributing to such debate, providing scientific-based evidence on current impact of CAP and giving insights on innovative policy tools. Such kind of analysis is particularly relevant for examining and monitoring the new policy tools (greening payment) implemented in the current CAP programming period 2015-2020. Furthermore, the project provides possible alternatives with respect the current policy instruments in order to tackle the issues not properly covered by them. The research project includes two distinct Work Packages (WP). WP1 focuses on the implementation of a series of impact evaluations of the economic and environmental effects of the current 2015-2020 CAP, in support of drafting scenarios and simulations for the post-2020 CAP. WP2 focuses on a specific category of farms not or partly involved in the implementation of the CAP: the small farms
In this project, we use the introduction of the first PES-based REDD+ project ever launched in Brazil by a Non-Governmental Organization in the region of Para in 2012 as a natural experiment in order to evaluate the long-run impact of this project.
In particular, we focus on the permanence of the effects of this REDD+ project by collecting new data from the baseline sample, about three years after the PES program starts.
This study is financed and undertaken in close collaboration with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), as part of its Global Comparative Study (GCS) on REDD+, and with the Brazilian non-governmental organization in charge of the implementation of the PES program, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM).
The EcoGYp project aims to study a range of issues related to the ecology and the conservation of necrophagous raptors, with a particular focus on the Bearded Vulture.
The socio-economic component of this project focuses on the identification and assessment of ecosystem services related to these species and the areas in which they reside.
The main services related to necrophagous birds of prey are on the one hand, recreational and aesthetic aspects and on the other, their ecological function as natural rendering.
The former are analysed on the basis of choice experiments, the natural rendering function being evaluated by comparison with industrial rendering from a life-cycle analysis perspective
This joint project between CEE-M and the Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE) analyzes the transition process toward a greener economy by studying the potential consequences of, and reactions of our societies to, environmental changes.
The project mainly focuses on two important objects of analysis, which are emblematic of issues related to environmental changes: pollution and aquatic resources.
The analysis of these two objects are tackled by relying on three work packages (WPs): (i) the economic assessment of the environmental issues (ii) the definition of short to medium-term solutions by developing dynamic environmental regulatory instruments and (iii) the study of the society’s long term adaptation capacity to sustain an environmentally friendly development process.
The project focuses on two complementary research questions that raise different types of scientific challenges.
The first one is related to promoting forms of greener activities through the analysis of incentive mechanisms and behavioral rules to induce a sustainable use of land and natural resources.
The second one is more focused on resource scarcity and on the strategies to tackle problems of uncertainty, irreversibility and threshold effects when dealing with issues of natural resource management
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are now central actors of policy-making processes as well as initiators of public debates about the needs of environmental policies.
They play a critical role in public politics by providing people with information about the environmental state of the world, bringing social and environmental issues to public awareness, and mobilizing support for political action on these issues.
The aim of the project is to provide analysis and new insight into the economic behavior and strategies of NGOs with respect to the environment.
The aim of the InvaCosts programme is to characterise and quantify the worldwide impacts of invasive species following climate change.
These impacts will be considered sensu lato, including biodiversity losses, disruption of ecosystem functioning and loss of ecosystem services, economic costs (on agriculture, forestry, real estate and infrastructures) and damages to public health (sanitary impacts and associated secondary costs for the society).
This project focuses on insects, a taxonomic group of major importance for the target environmental and societal categories, and whose ectothermic nature makes them especially sensitive to climate variables.
Spatial management of biological invasions is a complex task.
This project aims at developing decision making tools in order to optimally allocate a limited budget toward the spatial management of a biological invasion.
The project develops three workpackages. The first is on spatial evaluation methods to estimate spatial benefits related to species control.
The second is on spatial evaluation methods to estimate spatial costs related to species control.
The last is on the modelling of invasion dynamics in space and time. Combining the three workpackages, the overall output of the project is a spatially explicit cost-benefit module for the management of mobile externalities.
In order to strike the right balance between agriculture and the environment, policymakers in both developed and developing countries are increasingly resorting to Payments for Environmental Services (PES).
PESs are contracts between a farmer and the government in which the farmer receives a payment in exchange for the adoption of greener practices. PES programs usually aim to tackle major current environmental issues but can be expensive. It is thus critical to provide credible evaluations of their effectiveness.
Yet, evidence on their impact remains scarce.
This project aims to fill this gap by using modern econometric methods, such as experimental and quasi-experimental techniques, to provide the first evidence-based evaluations ever made for a series of agri-environmental programs in France: the French program to reduce the use of pesticides, the French grassland conservation programs, two pilot programs based on nudges, one aimed at encouraging biological control in viticulture and the other to reduce the consumption of agricultural water
Comment bien appréhender la gestion des masses d’eaux superficielles et souterraines, des risques associés à leurs usages, et l’agroenvironnement dans un contexte de changements globaux ?
Ce projet vise à proposer et à tester sur le terrain des mesures innovantes pour améliorer l’adoption de pratiques agricoles plus respectueuses de la qualité de l’eau. Il permettra (1) de proposer des mesures innovantes ; (2) de mener des évaluations ex-ante pour identifier les mesures les plus pertinentes ; (3) de proposer des dispositifs de suivi-évaluation et des protocoles d’expérimentation sociale pour évaluer expost l’impact de la mesure en construisant une situation contrefactuelle. Il vise à valoriser les résultats acquis par l’économie comportementale et expérimentale pour améliorer l’efficacité des plans d’actions agro-environnementaux.
The use of fertilizers in agriculture is one of the main source water pollution. The use of cover crops after harvesting the main crop allows reducing the transfer of nitrates to groundwater during the rainy season. In France, from 2000 to 2014, two measures encouraged cover cropping: one is regulatory (through the nitrates directive), one is market-based (agro-environmental schemes of the common agricultural policy). Our purpose is to study which one, or which combination, of the two measures allowed the widest adoption of the cover cropping practice. To this end, we develop an analytical framework and test formulated hypotheses using micro-econometrics methods applied on farm-level data.
The international success of the recent Thomas Piketty’s book (Piketty, 2014, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard University Press) is a clear indication that inequality is still continuing to be a major preoccupation throughout the World. The long run increase in wealth inequalities documented by Piketty in developed countries is reinforced by the recent sharp increases in income inequality. Nevertheless, even if we all accept that income inequality has risen, very different views exist on the attitudes the governments should adopt with respect to it. How do individuals perceive inequalities?
Do we have to consider all inequalities as unfair? In parallel to the worsening of the income and wealth inequalities, the last decades have also been characterised by increased social risks. These essentially originate in the profound changes in the labour market structure that go along with a deterioration of the unemployment rates. Hence, even if individuals are concerned with fairness considerations, it is not clear to what extent preferences for redistribution can be associated with such motives. Redistribution can be perceived as social insurance, and thus risk aversion of the individuals may came into play. The project aims at shedding new light on the preferences for redistribution, by providing a better description of people’s perceptions of inequality and social risks.
The benefits for society of the project would be to provide the social planner with implementable social decision rules which reflect
the individual preferences for redistribution, that can be used in public policy making.
Humans have colonized diverse environments so that specific genes, providing adaptation to each environment, are highly likely to have locally evolved (such as adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia). These genes provide adaptation to a local, or specific, environment through a permanent physiological change or, alternatively, a behavioural change.
Numerous genes are known to influence behaviour in experimental settings, such as alleles at the dopamine receptor locus D4 (DRD4), which is associated with attitudes toward risk.
However, direct evidence of selection acting on such genes is, to date, lacking.
Active volcanoes and their exposed populations represent unique assets in the study of the roots of such adaptation responses. The aims of this project are thus to: 1) study risk-taking people behaviour across contrasting environments, both at-risk and (almost) without risk; 2) examine the possibility of a local adaptation to risky environments; and 3) identify all relevant selected genes involved in this local adaptation.
The at-risk environments considered are flanks and surrounding plains of hazardous, active volcanoes, on which stable rural groups have developed.