Permanence in Economics, Social Preferences and Social Interactions: new empirical studies

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    Université de Strasbourg
    Environmental science
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    20/07/2017 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Strasbourg

Job Summary:

The PhD project will contribute to understand permanence from an economic perspective integrating ecological aspects with the aim to improve in particular biodiversity conservation. The PhD student will be an economist and he will integrate ecological knowledge in his analysis – in particular with the support from the team. The main question of the PhD thesis would be to understand the effectiveness of incentives on both long-lasting cooperation and permanence from both the economic and ecological sides when looking at biodiversity conservation. This PhD project is part of a joint research project PEPSI (Permanence in Economics, Social Preferences and Social Interactions) between University of Strasbourg (BETA), Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ. As the candidate will have to be inserted in the PEPSI project, (s)he will work with the French and German teams, having the case studies in both countries. Most of the time, (s)he will be localized at BETA but will travel and organize some stays in Germany.

Job Description:

Successful candidates will become part of the BETA Lab, being inserted in the Doctoral School Cournot of the University of Strasbourg, under the supervision of Mathieu Lefebvre (Assistant Prof) and Anne Stenger (Research Director). Part of the research at BETA focuses on theoretical and empirical research with an emphasis on public economics and experimental issues. The candidate should have a strong interest in these topics and ideally possess a background in one or two of these fields (economics, environmental/ecological economics, experimental economics, and public economics) with an interest for quantitative data analysis. The candidate is expected to spend some research stays at the German partner research centers under the supervision of Frank Wätzold (Prof.) and Martin Drechsler (Prof.). In addition, the positions require advanced writing and communication skills in English. A fluent command of the German language would be an advantage.

The global aim of our French-German collaboration is to address long-lasting cooperation in environmental issues, looking both at individual’s behavior and the environmental impact, especially after the removal of incentives or the stopping in public policies. Generally speaking, in the specific question of voluntary contribution to public good, there is a lack of data regarding both the understanding of individuals’ social behavior and the impact on environment like landscapes or biodiversity conservation. Based on theory in public good, experimental and/or field economics will help us in producing some new data.

From the economic side, long-lasting cooperation matters asking to understand the type and dynamics of incentives on which it relies. This question is central when looking both at cost-effectiveness of public program and sustainability of the funding institutions. We will explore the long-lasting cooperation in environmental issues looking at (i) the existence and links between incentives; (ii) the role and the design of public policies. Given budgetary considerations, one can ask the long-run repercussions of using incentives in short-run cases on behaviors. Non-monetary incentives like pro-social preferences and social interactions tend to affect the individuals’ choices and decisions in a complex interdependencies with monetary incentives.

From an ecological perspective, the permanence of habitats is beneficial for species persistence in a landscape. Frequent changes in land use leading to habitat destruction and restoration as in the case of offsetting and infrequent participation of farmers in agri-environment programs and payment for ecosystem service schemes may have a negative impacts on species. These impacts arise as habitats may take long time to regenerate and species do not recolonize new habitat immediately. However, some species require disturbances to survive and prefer habitat turnover. In addition, climate change in Europe will shift suitable habitats for many species northwards which implies that the spatial permanence of conservation measures may become dysfunctional. Furthermore, improvements in ecological knowledge may identify more suitable conservation measures, which also requires changes and adaptation.

Eligibility criteria

In order to meet the general entry requirements for doctoral studies, the applicant must hold a Master degree or have enrolled in a Master program at the University of Strasbourg in order to register in doctoral studies. It is also necessary that applicants have completed a Bachelor degree. If you hold a degree from a foreign university both universities in France and Germany will have to check if it meets the entry requirements.

Selection process

The selection is divided into two steps.

First Step: Please send your complete documents until 20 July 2017 to Ms Anne Stenger by email:

- Letter of motivation (no more than one page)

- Detailed CV

- Copies of Bachelor and Master degree incl. transcript of records

The short-listed candidates will be contacted from 21 July 2017.

Second step: Interview meeting (in August)

The application file must contain (after the second round of selection) – if selected:

- Detailed CV with a list of publications (if applicable)

- Certified copies of degrees and transcript of records incl. translated copies in English (if the documents were in another language)

- Contact details of the last institution you enrolled in (address, phone number, e-mail address)

- Copies of your publications and of your master thesis, as well as a summary of the dissertation

- Birth certificate

- One or more letters of recommendation by academic/scientific advisors (e.g. supervisor of the master thesis, professor, researcher)

Additional comments

Please note that BETA offers a fixed-term employment contract for the duration of 2,5 years. During this period the successful candidate will receive a gross salary of 1,756 euros. To complement the three years of funding BTU offers a PhD scholarship for the duration of six months. The amount of the scholarship is 1,760 euros per month. It is exempt from taxation and not subject to social security contributions. The scholarship of BTU does not same conditions as under an employment status. For further information about the BTU scholarship please refer to the website of the GRS: www.b-tu.de/researchschool/foerderung/scholarships/faqs


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
BETA (Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée)
61, avenue de la Forêt Noire

EURAXESS offer ID: 228455