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Environmental Economic Research

The environmental economic research group works with methods for socio-economic prioritisation related to a wide range of environmental issues: soil contamination, nature protection, biodiversity preservation, climate, energy and water.  

We develop concepts for the analysis and assessment of ecosystem services, and we develop and apply bio-economic models for empirical analyses, which can be applied in decision-making. The models include mathematical programming models, dynamic resource optimization models, agent-based models and econometric models.

Based on welfare economic theory and methods, we also conduct empirical and theoretically based analyses of issues related to regulation, discounting, non-market valuation and dynamic effects over time.

Topics

  • Cost Efficiency Analyses (CEA). Estimations using bio-economic models or simpler methods to calculate how environmental goals can be achieved at the lowest cost to society;
  • Cost Benefit Analyses (CBA). Estimations of net benefits to society of policies, measures or environmentally related projects;
  • Regulatory instruments in environmental policy. Research on regulatory incentives and on how different instruments can be implemented in order to ensure cost efficient fulfilment of environmental goals; and
  • Environmental valuation. Assessment of socio-economic values of changes to the state of the environment.

Fields of research

  • Nature protection; biodiversity protection; soil contamination; climate mitigation and adaptation; renewable energy; water, including marine and fresh waters as well as groundwater. 

Methods

  • Development and application of bio-economic models, including mathematical programming models, dynamic and agent-based models;
  • Econometric models for empirical analyses in environmental economics;
  • Valuation of non-market goods, including contingent valuation, hedonic pricing, choice experiments, travel costs and spatially explicit random utility models; and
  • Quantitative data collection and analysis methods, including surveys and experiments.

Examples of research conducted by the environmental economic research group:

  • Analyses of cost efficiency in relation to i) reductions of nutrient leaching from agriculture and other sectors, ii) protection of ecosystem services, and iii) reductions in the use of pesticides in the agricultural sector;
  • Conceptual framework for the valuation of ecosystem services in Denmark (MAES);
  • Conceptual analyses of the potential for valuation of environmental goods, including ethical considerations;
  • Economic valuation of changes in water quality in the Baltic Sea and in Danish coastal areas;
  • Socio-economic consequences of measures for reducing NOx emissions from combined heat and power production plants;
  • Integration of environmental models/management models in decision-making processes;
  • Climate adaptation in agriculture – how do farmers adapt to expected risks and changes in the climate?
  • Risk analysis related to the impact of air pollution on sensitive ecosystems, and economic analyses of the value of affected ecosystem services;
  • Analyses of the effects of different regulatory instruments in agricultural policy, including analysis of farmers’ willingness to change their cultivation practices in response to subsidies; taxes and quotas on nutrients; taxes and quotas on pesticides, and payments for ecosystem services.