Croissance, Environnement, Energie
The objectives for this research topic are on the one hand to develop a general economic analysis of the relationships between long-term growth and the environment, and on the other, based on results from the analysis above, to deal with applied and finalized issues. New theories of growth (endogenous growth) insist on the importance of an thorough analysis of technological innovation paths for a relevant approach of the macroeconomics of growth. Researchers seek to characterize the nature of the socially optimal policies of resource management in time; to specify the role of innovations as regards reduction or amplification of conflicts between economic growth and natural resource and environmental protection in the long run (sustainable development issue); to define the relevant framework for public policies (management of dynamic externalities, accounting for the long-term resource scarcity); and to extend the analysis to random or particular dynamic contexts.
Water use and environment
This activity constitutes the most important part of applied research undertaken in the laboratory. The determinants of demand for water are analyzed in detail: household residential water, agricultural irrigation water, industrial water demand. LERNA is also investigating economic issues related to water supply and access costs: costs of potabilization and emission abatement in particular. Last, research in progress also includes integrated resource management of river basins.
Risk and environment
This topic gathers an important area of research undertaken by LERNA on the issues of uncertainty and information in environmental, natural resources and agricultural economics. Research projects include the implementation of the precautionary principle, public regulation under incomplete information, irreversibility and insurability of environmental risk. These questions are tackled indifferently within a short term or a long term framework.
Public regulation, agricultural activity and environment
This area of research is directed towards a positive analysis (description and understanding of economic agents' behavior with respect to public regulation) as well as a normative one (performance evaluation of public regulation), of public environmental policies. LERNA also studies the links between agricultural activity, and thus indirectly the sectoral agricultural policies, and the environment as an objective of public regulation. Research projects include an assessment of contract-based regulation schemes of Water Agencies, regulation of irrigation water use in agriculture and the economic instruments of agricultural pollution control (with a special attention to the dimension of risk in agricultural activity). Finally, at a more macro level, LERNA researchers analyze the consequences and implementation issues of environmental policies (taxation, quotas, subsidies) for agriculture, in the short and the long run.