Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technologies (ICTA)

Prof. Dr.

About

409
Publications
136,034
Reads
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18,034
Citations
Introduction
My research is on the intersection of economics, environmental science and innovation studies. Past work includes dematerialization and recycling, integrated ecological-economic modelling, construction of aggregate indicators, the growth-versus-environment debate, and spatial aspects of environmental policy. Work in recent years involves evolutionary economics, environmental innovation, the transition to a low-carbon economy, and the economic analysis of climate policy.
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - March 2015
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Position
  • Deputy Director for Research
September 2007 - present
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Position
  • ICREA professor
September 2007 - present
ICREA - Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Position
  • Research professor
Education
April 1988 - December 1991
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Field of study
  • Environmental Economics
September 1983 - March 1988
Tilburg University
Field of study
  • Econometrics and Operations Research

Publications

Publications (409)
Article
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It remains unclear how COVID-19 has affected public engagement with the climate crisis. According to the finite-pool-of-worry hypothesis, concern about climate change should have decreased after the pandemic, in turn reducing climate-policy acceptance. Here we test these and several other conjectures by using survey data from 1172 Spanish participa...
Article
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Beliefs about other people's opinions on climate change influence one's own opinion. Such beliefs can, however, suffer from biases in perception. Using two nationally representative surveys, we examine this issue in a new context, namely of carbon-tax acceptance in Spain. We find that the more one expects the tax to be accepted by others, the more...
Article
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Public support for stringent climate policies is currently weak. We develop a model to study the dynamics of public support for climate policies. It comprises three interconnected modules: one calculates policy impacts; a second translates these into policy support mediated by social inuence; and a third represents the regulator adapting policy str...
Article
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Transformation toward a sustainable future requires an earth stewardship approach to shift society from its current goal of increasing material wealth to a vision of sustaining built, natural, human, and social capital—equitably distributed across society, within and among nations. Widespread concern about earth’s current trajectory and support for...
Article
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The increasing frequency of extreme events, exogenous and endogenous, poses challenges for our societies. The current pandemic is a case in point; but "once-in-a-century" weather events are also becoming more common, leading to erosion, wildfire and even volcanic events that change ecosystems and disturbance regimes, threaten the sustainability of...
Article
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis many have opinionated on how it may affect society's response to 20 climate change. Two key questions here are how COVID-19 is expected to influence climate action by 21 citizens and by the government. We answer these by applying topic modelling to textual responses from a 22 survey of Spanish citizens. The id...
Article
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Public acceptability of carbon taxation depends on its revenue use. Which single or mixed revenue use is most appropriate, and which perceptions of policy effectiveness and fairness explain this, remains unclear. It is, moreover, uncertain how people's prior knowledge about carbon taxation affects policy acceptability. We conducted a survey experim...
Article
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There is an ongoing discussion about the effectiveness of carbon pricing, with a strong division between optimists and pessimists. A recent review study by Lilliestam, Patt and Bersalli (2020) of the impact of carbon pricing on low-carbon innovation and deep carbonization concludes that there is no evidence for such an impact. We evaluate this stud...
Article
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One can distinguish active (machines) from inactive (infrastructure) capital. Active capital consumes useful energy (or exergy) to do thermodynamic work that muscles and brains usually do. We use data for ten large economies and find that exergy performs just as well as, and hence can replace, labor in a Cobb-Douglas production function. This resul...
Article
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Climate policies can be applied either upstream, where fossil fuels are extracted, or downstream, where emissions are generated. Specific policy instruments can be defined for either level, and can take the form of a price signal such as through a tax, or a quantity limit such as through direct regulation or a permit market. In this study, we prese...
Article
We analyse 465 articles published in EIST from June 2011 until June 2021 to identify topics addressed in the journal. We find eight main topics and assess how their shares changed over time as well as how many citations they received. The topics with the largest shares in all publications are “Theory of socio-technical transitions” and “Urban regim...
Article
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Segmentation of survey respondents is a common tool in environmental communication as it helps to understand opinions of people and to deliver targeted messages. Prior research has segmented people based on their opinions about the relationship between economic growth and environmental sustainability. This involved an evaluation of 16 statements, w...
Article
Studies on socioeconomic impacts of climate and energy policies tend to focus on income and expenditure effects. For analyses that go beyond monetary dimensions, time-diary data have proven to be useful. Here we investigate how work time relates to leisure activity structures and associated energy use for different types of employees. To this end,...
Article
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Carbon leakage is the effect of emissions transferring to certain countries due to others having a stricter climate policy. This phenomenon is shown to have undercut the effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol. Considering the increasingly globalised nature of the world economy, carbon leakage may have an even greater potential under the Paris Agreemen...
Article
We assess evidence from theoretical-modelling, empirical and experimental studies on how interactions between instruments of climate policy affect overall emissions reduction. Such interactions take the form of negative, zero or positive synergistic effects. The considered instruments comprise performance and technical standards, carbon pricing, ad...
Article
Optimism about the contribution of city policies worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is widespread. It is based, though, on partial and anecdotal studies rather than comprehensive system-wide estimates. Popular empirical indicators to support the importance of cities, such as consumption-based emissions within city borders, lack a policy c...
Article
We analyze the effectiveness of environmental policy when consumers are subject to social influence. To this end, we build a model of consumption decisions driven by socially-embedded preferences formed under the influence of peers in a social network. This setting gives rise to a social multiplier of environmental policy. In an application to clim...
Article
A price on emissions can be achieved through an emission tax or permit trading. The advantages and drawbacks of either instrument are debated. We present an agent-based model to compare their performance under bounded rationality and dynamic markets. It describes firms that face uncertainty about future demand and prices; use heuristic rules to dec...
Article
The debate about the relationship between economic growth and environmental sustainability triggers a range of associations. Here we analyze open-ended textual responses of citizens and scientists concerning their associations with the terms "economic growth" and "green growth". We derive from the responses a number of topics and examine how associ...
Article
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Carbon taxes evoke a variety of public responses, often with negative implications for policy support, implementation and stringency. Here we use topic modelling to analyze associations of Spanish citizens with a policy proposal to introduce a carbon tax. This involves asking two key questions, to elicit (1) citizens' associations with a carbon tax...
Article
Climate change is reshaping the comparative advantage of regions and hence driving migration flows, principally toward urban areas. Migration has multiple benefits and costs in both origin and destination regions. Coordinated policies that recognize how and why people move can reduce future costs and facilitate adaptation to climate change both wit...
Article
It has been long debated whether environmental tax reform (ETR), i.e. a revenue-neutral shift of the tax burden from labour to carbon emissions, can have a double dividend, in terms of climate and economic goals. So far this question has been addressed in public finance and environmental economics using models with rational and representative agent...
Article
To examine the prospect of full closure of relevant material flows, and the policy mix and transition to achieve it, I critically approach the popular notion of a ‘circular economy’ (CE) from six complementary perspectives: (i) lessons from ecosystem recycling, (ii) limits posed by thermodynamics, (iii) material rebound and material-to-energy shift...
Article
Should policy-makers combine price incentives with behavioural nudges to encourage sustainable energy behaviour? Available evidence from various behavioural sciences is scarce and inconclusive about synergy of the two instruments. This is partly due to methodological limitations. We offer a framework to overcome such limitations in future research...
Article
We need to debate in science, politics and wider society the option of stepping outside the futile framing of pro- versus anti-growth. Realizing there is a third way, namely an agrowth strategy, can help to overcome existing polarization and weaken political resistance against effective environmental and climate policies.
Article
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Unilateral climate policies have been unable to achieve intended emissions reductions. We argue that international harmonization of climate policy beyond the Paris Agreement is the only way forward and that global carbon pricing, either through a tax or market, is the best available instrument to manage this. A foundation has already been laid, as...
Article
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Agent‐based models (ABMs) have recently seen much application to the field of climate mitigation policies. They offer a more realistic description of micro behavior than traditional climate policy models by allowing for agent heterogeneity, bounded rationality and nonmarket interactions over social networks. This enables the analysis of a broader s...
Article
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GDP growth is declining in industrial economies, and there is increasing evidence that growth may be environmentally unsustainable. If growth falls below returns to wealth then inequalities increase, as Thomas Piketty recently showed. This poses a challenge to managing slow and/or negative growth. Here, we examine policies that have been proposed t...
Article
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We consider two aspects of the human enterprise that profoundly affect the global environment: population and consumption. We show that fertility and consumption behavior harbor a class of externalities that have not been much noted in the literature. Both are driven in part by attitudes and preferences that are not egoistic but socially embedded;...
Article
A widespread implicit assumption is that renewable energy options are approximately low-carbon. However, production and life cycles of such technologies tend to produce CO2 emissions. To minimize life-cycle emissions, one should account for such emissions and implement adequate policies to encourage innovation and adoption of well-performing techno...
Article
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The minilateral approach of a climate club of countries has been suggested as an intermediate phase in a transition towards a global agreement that enforces national climate policies through harmonization. To garner critical mass, we propose an extended club configuration including sub-national states or provinces, resulting in a multi-level club....
Article
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Climate policy has been mainly studied with economic models that assume representative, rational agents. Such policy aims, though, at changing carbon-intensive consumption and production patterns driven by bounded rationality and other-regarding preferences, such as status and imitation. To examine climate policy under such alternative behavioral a...
Article
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Driven by a rapid development of the so-called ‘open innovation’ paradigm, previous studies have provided broad evidence of the positive effects of external knowledge sources on innovation. Yet, little is known about the impact of external knowledge sources on innovative activities in the renewable energy sector. Based on an analysis of original su...
Article
We develop a stochastic decision model to analyse the global competitive dynamics of fossil fuels and renewable energy. It describes coal, oil/gas, solar and wind. These differ not only in pollution intensities but also in profitability and innovation potential. The model accounts for the effect of learning curves, path-dependence and climate polic...
Article
We determine which urban form generates minimal global and local emissions. To this end, we develop a spatial accounting model of a circular city consisting of six zones. Activities comprise low and high density housing, offices and industry. Spatial interactions among activities give rise to freight and passenger transport. We assess global emissi...
Article
Invasive species are costly for human health, the environment and the economy while their burden is expected to rise. With limited budgets to address biological invasions, effective resource allocation is important. In the past decade, multiple frameworks have emerged to support this budgeting, but it is not clear if current strategies are consiste...
Article
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The Paris Agreement takes a bottom-up approach to tackling climate change with parties submitting pledges in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Studies show that the sum of these national pledges falls short of meeting the agreement’s 2 °C target. To explore this discrepancy, we analyse individual pledges and classify them into...
Article
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While carbon pricing is widely seen as a crucial element of climate policy and has been implemented in many countries, it also has met with strong resistance. We provide a comprehensive overview of public perceptions of the fairness of carbon pricing and how these affect policy acceptability. To this end, we review evidence from empirical studies o...
Article
The strategy of fossil fuel divestment has attracted considerable attention in recent years, particularly in the press and social media. Spearheaded as a movement based on ethical principles, divestment has been suggested to play a potential role in shaping public opinion and policymaking on climate change. The growing size of the movement has prom...
Article
The evolution of opinions in the long-standing debate on growth-versus-environment may affect support for important sustainability policies, in areas such as biodiversity loss, climate change, deforestation and freshwater scarcity. In order to understand this evolution, we develop a model describing the dynamics of four distinct opinions as identif...
Article
Climate change is projected to increase flood risks in certain regions due to an increase in both precipitation and sea level rise. In addition, socio-economic scenarios project an increase in urbanization in flood prone areas, which results in a higher damage potential. The combined effect of climate and land use change on flood risks requires inn...
Article
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Special issue of the Journal of Population and Sustainability on Economic Growth. Papers by: DAVID SAMWAYS - Editorial Introduction – Special Issue: Economic Growth. HERMAN DALY - Envisioning a Successful Steady-State Economy. GRAEME MAXTON - Rethinking Everything JEROEN C.J.M. VAN DEN BERGH - Agrowth instead of anti- and pro-growth: Less polarizat...
Article
The debate about the relationship between economic growth and environmental sustainability involves many dimensions as well as much diversity in terminology. While it is often summarized in terms of dichotomous pro- and anti-growth positions, several studies indicate that additional views exist, and that these may differ between experts and the gen...
Book
Cambridge Core - Evolutionary Biology - Human Evolution beyond Biology and Culture - by Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh
Article
It is widely believed that with the right economic incentives, electrification of transport can significantly reduce CO2 emissions by 2050. Estimates of future emissions from car transport tend, though, to ignore technological change in electricity generation and bounded rationality of consumers. In this article we address these two shortcomings by...
Article
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Low-carbon energy transitions aim to stay within a carbon budget that limits potential climate change to 2 °C—or well below—through a substantial growth in renewable energy sources alongside improved energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage. Current scenarios tend to overlook their low net energy returns compared to the existing fossil fuel...
Article
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In the version of this Analysis originally published, the value of the pessimistic EROI for the geothermal energy source in Table 1 was incorrectly given as 14:1; it should have read 9:1. This has now been corrected in all versions of the Analysis.
Article
The enduring scientific debate about economic growth versus the environment has recently received new impetus. Nonetheless, there is virtually unanimous support for growth in politics. This may partly be due to an assumed social consensus about the desirability of growth. Here we examine public perceptions relevant to the growth debate by using dat...
Article
The academic debate on economic growth, the environment and prosperity has continued for many decades now. In 2015, we conducted an online survey of researchers’ views on various aspects of this debate, such as the compatibility of global GDP growth with the 2 °C climate policy target, and the timing and factors of (never-)ending growth. The 814 re...
Poster
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The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between invasive alien insect species (IAIS) and climate change in the Iberian Peninsula. Broadly, the project aims to answer two main questions. Firstly, is there a relationship between the rate of establishment of invasive species and climate change in the Iberian Peninsula? Secondly, wha...
Article
We present novel insights about effective energy policies using an agent-based model. The model describes relevant feedback mechanisms between technological evolution, the interbank market and the electricity sector. Analysis with it shows that energy policies affect interbank connectivity and hence the likelihood of cascades of bank failures. This...
Article
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Carbon pricing is a recurrent theme in debates on climate policy. Discarded at the 2009 COP in Copenhagen, it remained part of deliberations for a climate agreement in subsequent years. As there is still much misunderstanding about the many reasons to implement a global carbon price, ideological resistance against it prospers. Here, we present the...
Article
Climate change has revived debates around the concept of limits to growth, 45 years after it was first proposed. Many citizens, scientists and politicians fear that stringent climate policy will harm economic growth. Some are anti-growth, whereas others believe green growth is compatible with a transition to a low-carbon economy. As the window to c...
Chapter
There is a widespread sense that a sufficiently stringent climate mitigation policy, that is, a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to avoid extreme climate change, will come with very high economic costs for society. This is supported by many cost?benefit analyses (CBA) and policy cost assessments of climate policy. All of these, ne...
Article
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This study explores the implications of shifting the narrative of climate policy evaluation from one of costs/benefits or economic growth to a message of improving social welfare. Focusing on the costs of mitigation and the associated impacts on gross domestic product (GDP) may translate into a widespread concern that a climate agreement will be ve...
Article
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Purpose This paper aims to clarify the relationship between climate change, its negative impacts on human health and its role in catalysing public engagement for climate policies. It aims to increase public support for climate-mitigation strategies by showing the medical case for negative climate-induced health impacts, the economic burden it entai...
Chapter
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This chapter calls for an approach to economic policy that takes evolutionary and complex systems theories into account. Such an approach alters the way that economic policy is framed and how policy co-depends on understanding markets as outcomes of nonmarket interactions, incomplete information, path dependency, and coordination failures. Using se...
Article
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Rebound is given scant attention in both IPCC documents and UNFCCC climate summits, where climate agreements are negotiated. This article argues that without an international climate treaty, or with a soft treaty in the form of voluntary pledges, as characterizes the recent Paris climate agreement, well-intended local and national climate strategie...
Article
This study considers the potential conflict between economic growth and climate change mitigation. Some believe green growth is an option, while others think climate goals are incompatible with growth. It does so by developing a sector-based approach to analyze the relation between on the one hand carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of output and o...