Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

Research Environmental Economics

The Environmental Economics Department aims to conduct innovative, high-quality research in the domain of environmental economics, and addresses critical needs from society by producing policy relevant output that contributes to sustainable development.

The department’s mission is to acquire and transfer academic knowledge and expertise on the relationship between the environment and the economy to address societal concerns and to inform environmental policy.
The main strength of the department lies in the application of high quality academic knowledge and economic expertise in interdisciplinary, policy relevant research projects. The research in the department is broadly organized according to three themes: economics of natural capital and ecosystem services, climate change economics, and economics of sustainable energy

The Environmental Economics Department has strong quantitative econometric and computational skills. Applied modelling methods include Integrated Assessment Models of climate change and the economy, Computable General Equilibrium Models, Partial Equilibrium Models which have a sectoral focus, and Agent-Based Models. Moreover, methods and insights from behavioural economics are applied across the department’s research themes, and include economic lab experiments with innovative applications like Virtual Reality technology. The department also has a long-standing tradition with applying environmental valuation methods, for example using choice experiments in surveys, and in applications of societal cost-benefit analysis to inform environmental policy making.

The applied character of the research conducted by the Environmental Economics Department implies that it is well positioned to serve societal end users, as demonstrated by projects conducted for the OECD, Dutch ministries, the EU, and environmental NGOs such as WWF. PhD candidates have been financed by external organisations, such as the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Deltares. Moreover, research projects on climate change risks regularly include end users from the financial sector, such as the Dutch Union for Insurers, Zurich Re, Achmea, and the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 

The Environmental Economics Department consists of around 30 scientific staff members and PhD candidates and is led by Dr Marije Schaafsma. 

More Information

  • Research themes

    Economics of natural capital and ecosystem services

    The overall goal of our research on the economics of ecosystem services and natural capital is to guide decisions and inform policies on ecosystems and prosperity. By providing insight into people’s preferences and their values for ecosystem services and natural capital, we aim to help design solutions such as decision-support tools for environmental management and business cases for nature-based solutions.

    Our research is linked to different challenges, including food, land, marine and biodiversity systems. We work on food system impacts on ecosystems, from rural producing areas to global supply chains and urban consumers. Our work in marine systems spans valuation of coastal and ocean habitats, such as coral reefs, and sustainable financing. We have long-standing experience in the valuation and assessment of values of landscapes and ecosystems and analysing the trade-offs in sustainable development.

    We take an interdisciplinary approach that builds on environmental, behavioural and ecological economics, striving for the development of actionable solutions. We have strong expertise in different methods for non-monetary and monetary valuation, including discrete choice experiments, contingent valuation, and meta-analysis. We integrate these values with hydrological models, ecological assessments, land-use models, societal cost-benefit analyses and multi-criteria assessments to inform sustainable policy making. We also have expertise in lab and field experiments that offer insights for the design of policy instruments to encourage sustainable behaviour.

    We collaborate intensively with a range of national and international conservation organisations, such as the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and WWF, as well as national and international government agencies, such as UNEP. Our researchers engage with various communities such as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP).

    Key staff members: Prof. Pieter van Beukering, Dr Mark Koetse, Dr Marije Schaafsma, Dr Peter Robinson, Dr Luke Brander and Prof. Roy Brouwer.

    Climate change economics

    The aim of our research on climate change economics is to improve understanding of interactions between climate change and the economy to guide the design of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. 

    Examples are studies on the economic consequences of sea level rise, extreme heat, and natural disasters, such as flooding, which are used in cost-benefit analyses of adaptation strategies, including nature based solutions. Researchers also work with Integrated Assessment Models of climate change and the economy, such as FUND and CLIMRISK. These models estimate the Social Cost of Carbon for setting carbon taxes and evaluate the economic desirability of greenhouse gas mitigation policies at the international, national, and local scale, such as cities.

    Applications range from macroeconomic assessments using Computable General Equilibrium Models to sectoral studies, such as for the manufacturing, agriculture, and insurance sectors, using econometric approaches and Partial Equilibrium Models. Microeconomic assessments focus on assessing climate change impacts and adaptation responses at the household and firm levels.  
    The department also has a strong track record applying methods and insights from behavioural economics. Examples are surveys and economic experiments to study individual perceptions of natural disaster risks and to obtain insights into decision-making processes about protective investments, such as flood-proofing buildings and purchasing natural disaster insurance. This research informs policy instruments that help people better prepare for disasters, such as incentives from insurance, communication strategies, and nudges. 

    Research projects are done for various societal organizations, which at the international level include the EU, OECD and the UN, as well as national governments and city policy makers at the national and local levels. The department has long standing collaborations with the financial sector, such as (re-)insurance companies and regulators. 

    Key staff members: Prof. Wouter Botzen. Dr Veronica Lupi, Dr Miguel Poblete, Dr Peter Robinson, Prof. Richard Tol and Prof. Marjan Hofkes.

    Economics of sustainable energy

    The department’s research on renewable and sustainable energy covers the regulation of energy markets and technologies, and the design of policy instruments for the energy transition, such as carbon taxes.  Moreover, an important focus is the adoption of renewable and efficient energy technologies and behaviours by individual agents, such as households and farmers. The main aim of the research is to understand which policies can accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable energy systems - in the Netherlands, in Europe and in the Global South. 

    The Environmental Economics department carries out projects with a focus on sustainable energy for various societal organizations, such as the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) at the national level or the EU at the international level. Examples for ongoing research are the Evaluation of RVO’s EnDev program, where the department, in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers and SEO Amsterdam Economics, assesses the performance of selected EnDev programme activities. In the Horizon 2020 project NEWCOMERS – New Clean Energy Communities in a Changing European Energy System, the department analyses the potential of clean energy communities to stimulate energy conservation behaviour among community members. 

    Applications range from macroeconomic assessments using Computable General Equilibrium Models to microeconomic studies using econometric approaches and agent based models of energy conservation behaviour. Moreover, behavioural economic studies focus on econometric analyses of survey data or experimental data collected using choice experiments, as well as laboratory and field experiments. The latter try to reveal individual behavioural biases that may impede the transition to clean energy systems – and test strategies to overcome them, for instance using information provision and social norm nudges. 

    Key staff members: Prof. Pieter van Beukering, Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh, Prof. Wouter Botzen, Prof. Richard Tol and Dr Sanchayan Banerjee.

    Circular economy and resource efficiency

    Our research assesses the economic consequences of increased circularity and policies to increase material efficiency. This is necessary since, despite the concept’s clear connotation to ‘economics’, little research assesses the economic impact of the circular economy.

    We investigate the economic consequences of increased circularity (and research efficiency) at different levels to provide tailored insights to a diverse set of stakeholders. At micro level, economic assessment tools enable both producers and consumers to assess the viability of different circular solutions and business models or select the best circular strategy. This research is complemented by analysis of cognitive and behavioural barriers that can limit circular actions, decisions, and behaviours1. Building on these insights, we design tailored policies using behavioural insights (e.g. nudge2 (+), and ‘boost’ as policy to affect behaviour).

    At macro level, ex ante analysis makes use of, for example, equilibrium models3  to investigate how a future transition to a circular economy could look like. Ex post econometric analysis can assess the impact of past and ongoing circular transitions4. This allows identification of economic mechanisms, sectoral impacts, or (un)desirable side-effects (e.g., environmental gains, rebound effects, social injustice, etc.).

    Our analysis is pivotal for governments, the private sector and other stakeholders who aim for a more resource-efficient and circular economy to avoid waste production and secure access to materials. In this context, our research acknowledges the inherent local aspect of circularity and simultaneously acknowledges the inevitable global dimension to this problem as the world’s different regions are interconnected via trade flows of both materials and waste. This approach is for example applied in the H2020 project CLAIM which investigates the social and economic implications of new technologies to clean marine litter. CLAIM provides insights to both industry and policy makers and its findings inform consumers.

    Key staff members: Dr Jan Brusselaers, Prof. Pieter van Beukering, Dr Sanchayan Banerjee and Dr Mark Koetse.

  • Research Projects

  • List of key publications


    Economics of natural capital and ecosystem services
    • Ansink, E., Koetse, M., Bouma, J., Hauck, D. & van Soest, D. (2022). Crowdfunding conservation (and other public goods). Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 9(3), 565–602.
    • Robinson, P.J., van Beukering, P., Brander, L., Brouwer, R., Haider, W., Taylor, M., & Mau, P. (2022). Understanding the determinants of biodiversity non-use values in the context of climate change: Stated preferences for the Hawaiian coral reefs. Ecosystem Services, 53, 1-14. [101393].
    • van Oosterhout, L., Dijkstra, H., van Beukering, P., Rehdanz, K., Khedr, S., Brouwer, R. & Duijndam, S. (2022). Public Perceptions of Marine Plastic Litter: A Comparative Study Across European Countries and Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, 784829.
    Climate change economics
    • Tesselaar, M., Botzen, W., Robinson, P.J., Aerts, J. & Zhou, F. (2022). Charity hazard and the flood insurance protection gap: An EU scale assessment under climate change. Ecological Economics, 193, 107289.
    • Mol, J.M., Botzen, W.J.W. & Blasch, J.E. (2022). After the virtual flood: Risk perceptions and flood preparedness after virtual reality risk communication. Judgment and Decision Making, 17(1), 189–214.
    • Nascimento, L., Kuramochi, T., Iacobuta, G., den Elzen, M., Fekete, H., Weishaupt, M., van Soest, H.L., Roelfsema, M., Vivero-Serrano, G.D., Lui, S., Hans, F., Jose de Villafranca Casas, M. & Höhne, N. (2022). Twenty years of climate policy: G20 coverage and gaps. Climate Policy, 22(2), 158–174.
    Economics of sustainable energy
    • Blasch, J., van der Kroon, B., van Beukering, P., Munster, R., Fabiani, S., Nino, P., & Vanino, S. (2022). Farmer preferences for adopting precision farming technologies: A case study from Italy: a case study from Italy. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 49(1), 33-81.
    • He, S., Blasch, J. & van Beukering, P. (2022). How does information on environmental emissions influence appliance choice? The role of values and perceived environmental impacts. Energy Policy, 168, 113142.
    • Wu, H., Mentzakis, E. & Schaafsma, M. (2022). Exploring Different Assumptions about Outcome-Related Risk Perceptions in Discrete Choice Experiments. Environmental and Resource Economics, 81, 531–572.
    Circular economy and resource efficiency
    • Brusselaers, J., Breemersch, K., Geerken, T., Christis, M., Lahcen, B. & Dams, Y. (2022). Macroeconomic and environmental consequences of circular economy measures in a small open economy. The Annals of Regional Science, 68(2), 283–306.
    • Can, M., Ben Jebli, M. & Brusselaers, J. (2022). Can green trade save the environment? Introducing the Green (Trade) Openness Index. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29(29), 44091–44102.
    • Lahcen, B., Eyckmans, J., Rousseau, S., Dams, Y., & Brusselaers, J. (2022). Modelling the circular economy: Introducing a supply chain equilibrium approach. Ecological Economics, 197, 107451.
    • Anthoff, D., & Tol, R.S.J. (2022). Testing the Dismal Theorem. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 9(5), 885-920.
    • de Boer, J. & Aiking, H. (2022). How meat reduction differs from other personal climate actions: Distinct concerns and cultural barriers among EU consumers. Food Quality and Preference, 101, 104646.
    • Liu, H., & Brouwer, R. (2022). Incentivizing the future adoption of best management practices on agricultural land to protect water resources: The role of past participation and experiences. Ecological Economics, 196, 1-11. [107389].
    • Savin, I., & van den Bergh, J. (2022). Tired of climate targets? Shift focus of IPCC scenarios from emission and growth targets to policies. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1517(1), 5-10.
    • van den Bergh, J.C.J.M. (2022). A procedure for globally institutionalizing a ‘beyond-GDP’ metric. Ecological Economics, 192, 107257.


    • Botzen, W.J.W., Duijndam, S. & van Beukering, P. (2021). Lessons for climate policy from behavioral biases towards COVID-19 and climate change risks. World Development, 137, 105214.
    • de Boer, J. & Aiking, H. (2021). Climate change and species decline: Distinct sources of European consumer concern supporting more sustainable diets. Ecological Economics, 188, 107141.
    • Dijkstra, H., van Beukering, P. & Brouwer, R. (2021). In the business of dirty oceans: Overview of startups and entrepreneurs managing marine plastic. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 162, 111880.
    • Estrada Porrua, F. & Botzen, W. (2021). Economic impacts and risks of climate change under failure and success of the Paris Agreement. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1504(1), 95–115.
    • Exadaktylos, F. & van den Bergh, J. (2021). Energy-related behaviour and rebound when rationality, self-interest and willpower are limited. Nature Energy, 6(12), 1104–1113.
    • Hagedoorn, L.C., Appeaning Addo, K., Koetse, M.J., Kinney, K. & van Beukering, P.J.H. (2021). Angry waves that eat the coast: An economic analysis of nature-based and engineering solutions to coastal erosion. Ocean and Coastal Management, 214, 1 105945.
    • Hagedoorn, L.C., Koetse, M.J., van Beukering, P.J.H. & Brander, L.M. (2021). Reducing the finance gap for nature-based solutions with time contributions. Ecosystem Services, 52, 101371.
    • Ignjacevic, P., Estrada, F. & Botzen, W.J.W. (2021). Time of emergence of economic impacts of climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 16(7), 074039.
    • Maestre-Andrés, S., Drews, S., Savin, I. & van den Bergh, J. (2021). Carbon tax acceptability with information provision and mixed revenue uses. Nature Communications, 12,  7017.
    • Moerkerken, A., Duijndam, S., Blasch, J., van Beukering, P. & Smit, A. (2021). Determinants of energy efficiency in the Dutch dairy sector: dilemmas for sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 293, 126095.
    • Morren, M., Mol, J.M., Blasch, J.E. & Malek, Ž. (2021). Changing diets - Testing the impact of knowledge and information nudges on sustainable dietary choices. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 75, 101610.
    • Robinson, P.J., Botzen, W.J.W. & Zhou, F. (2021). An experimental study of charity hazard: The effect of risky and ambiguous government compensation on flood insurance demand. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 63(3), 275–318.
    • Robinson, P.J., Botzen, W.J.W., Kunreuther, H. & Chaudhry, S.J. (2021). Default options and insurance demand. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 183, 39–56.
    • Schaafsma, M., Eigenbrod, F., Gasparatos, A., Gross-Camp, N., Hutton, C., Nunan, F., Schreckenberg, K. & Turner, K. (2021). Trade-off decisions in ecosystem management for poverty alleviation. Ecological Economics, 187, 107103.
    • Tol, R.S.J. (2021). The distributional impact of climate change. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1504(1), 63–75.
    • Tremlett, C., Peh, KS-H., Zamora-Gutierrez, V. & Schaafsma, M. (2021). Value and benefit distribution of pollination services provided by bats in the production of cactus fruits in central Mexico. Ecosystem Services, 47, 101197.
    • van den Bergh, J., Castro, J., Drews, S., Exadaktylos, F., Foramitti, J., Klein, F., Konc, T. & Savin, I. (2021). Designing an effective climate-policy mix: Accounting for instrument synergy. Climate Policy, 21(6), 745–764.
    • van Soest, H.L., Aleluia Reis, L., Baptista, L.B., Bertram, C., Després, J., Drouet, L., den Elzen, M., Fragkos, P., Fricko, O., Fujimori, S., Grant, N., Harmsen, M., Iyer, G., Keramidas, K., Köberle, A. C., Kriegler, E., Malik, A., Mittal, S., Oshiro, K., ... van Vuuren, D.P. (2021). Global roll-out of comprehensive policy measures may aid in bridging emissions gap. Nature Communications, 12, 6419.
    • Zhou, F. & Botzen, W. (2021). Firm Level Evidence of Disaster Impacts on Growth in Vietnam. Environmental and Resource Economics, 79(2), 277–322.


    • Blasch, J. & Daminato, C. (2020). Behavioral anomalies and energy-related individual choices: The role of status-quo bias. Energy Journal, 41(6), 181–214.
    • Blasch, J., van der Kroon, B., van Beukering, P., Munster, R., Fabiani, S., Nino, P. & Vanino, S. (2020). Farmer preferences for adopting precision farming technologies: a case study from Italy. European Review of Agricultural Economics
    • Bockarjova, M., Botzen, W.J.W. & Koetse, M.J. (2020). Economic valuation of green and blue nature in cities: A meta-analysis. Ecological Economics, 169, 106480.
    • Brander, L.M., van Beukering, P., et al. (2020). The global costs and benefits of expanding Marine Protected Areas. Marine Policy, 116, 103953.
    • De Boer, J., Schösler, H. & Aiking, H. (2020). Fish as an alternative protein – A consumer-oriented perspective on its role in a transition towards more healthy and sustainable diets. Appetite, 152, 104721.
    • Dijkstra, H., van Beukering, P. & Brouwer, R. (2020). Business models and sustainable plastic management: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Cleaner Production, 258, 120967. 
    • Hagedoorn, L.C., Koetse, M.J., van Beukering, P.J.H. & Brander, L.M. (2020). Time equals money? Valuing ecosystem-based adaptation in a developing country context. Environment and Development Economics, 25(5), 482–508.
    • Klein, F. & van den Bergh, J. (2020). The employment double dividend of environmental tax reforms: exploring the role of agent behaviour and social interaction. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy
    • Mol, J.M., Botzen, W.J.W. & Blasch, J.E. (2020). Behavioral motivations for self-insurance under different disaster risk insurance schemes. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 180, 967–991.
    • Riley, D., Schaafsma, M., Marin-Moreno, H. & Minshull, T.A. (2020). A social, environmental and economic evaluation protocol for potential gas hydrate exploitation projects. Applied Energy, 263, 114651.
    • Schaafsma, M. & Brouwer, R. (2020). Substitution Effects in Spatial Discrete Choice Experiments. Environmental and Resource Economics, 75, 323–349.
    • van den Bergh, J. & Botzen, W. (2020). Low-carbon transition is improbable without carbon pricing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(38), 23219–23220.


    • Amoah, A., Ferrini, S. & Schaafsma, M. (2019). Electricity outages in Ghana: Are contingent valuation estimates valid? Energy Policy, 135, 110996.
    • Blasch, J., Filippini, M. & Kumar, N. (2019). Boundedly rational consumers, energy and investment literacy, and the display of information on household appliances. Resource and Energy Economics, 56, 39–58.
    • Bouma, J.A. & Koetse, M.J. (2019). Mind the gap: Stated versus revealed donations and the differential role of behavioral factors. Land Economics, 95(2), 225–245.
    • de Boer, J. & Aiking, H. (2019). Strategies towards healthy and sustainable protein consumption: A transition framework at the levels of diets, dishes, and dish ingredients. Food Quality and Preference, 73, 171–181.
    • Haer, T., Botzen, W.J.W. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. (2019). Advancing disaster policies by integrating dynamic adaptive behaviour in risk assessments using an agent-based modelling approach. Environmental Research Letters, 14(4), 1–9. [044022].
    • Hwang, I C., Tol, R.S.J. & Hofkes, M.W. (2019). Active Learning and Optimal Climate Policy. Environmental and Resource Economics, 73(4), 1237–1264.
    • Kahsay, T.N., Arjoon, D., Kuik, O., Brouwer, R., Tilmant, A. & van der Zaag, P. (2019). A hybrid partial and general equilibrium modeling approach to assess the hydro-economic impacts of large dams: The case of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in the Eastern Nile River basin. Environmental Modelling and Software, 117, 76–88.
    • Kuik, O., Branger, F. & Quirion, P. (2019). Competitive advantage in the renewable energy industry: Evidence from a gravity model. Renewable Energy, 131, 472–481.
    • Linderhof, V., Oosterhuis, F.H., van Beukering, P.J.H. & Bartelings, H. (2019). Effectiveness of deposit-refund systems for household waste in the Netherlands: Applying a partial equilibrium model. Journal of Environmental Management, 232, 842–850.
    • Robinson, P.J. & Botzen, W. (2019). Economic experiments, hypothetical surveys and market data studies of insurance demand against low‐probability/high‐impact risks: A systematic review of designs, theoretical insights and determinants of demand. Journal of Economic Surveys, 33(5), 1493–1530.
    • Schrodt, F., Bailey, J.J., Kissling, W.D., Rijsdijk, K.F., Seijmonsbergen, A.C., van Ree, D., ... Field, R. (2019). Opinion: To advance sustainable stewardship, we must document not only biodiversity but geodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(33), 16155–16158.




    You can find a full list of EE's publications here

  • Data and Models

    Data and models are classified according to the themes.

  • Editorships