Postdoctoral position – Econometric analysis

21 October 2022

Econometric analysis of land use changes and the opportunity costs of land use extensification

Work environment, missions and activities

The postdoc is s part of the H2020 projectClimate-smart rewilding: ecological restoration for climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity support in Europe (wildE)”.  The overall aim of the WildE project is to assess and enhance the potential of climate-smart rewilding as a nature-based solution for ecological restoration across Europe and involves a large multi-disciplinary research consortium representing 12 European countries and 22 partners.

The postdoc will mainly be involved in estimating opportunity costs of future rewilding as a function of local contextual indicators (e.g., soil fertility and spatial economic indicators, such as agricultural productivity). The spatially-explicit estimation of opportunity costs will serve as the basis for the spatial and contextual identification of low cost/benefit ratio options to restore further natural and semi-natural ecosystems for carbon sequestration and biodiversity support over an extended geographic extent. Measures of opportunity costs related to agricultural land use at the regional level will be derived from the European Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) and the opportunity costs for forest land will be based on estimated forest profitability data. These regional costs will be estimated for the main farm and forest types. To assess intra-regional variability in the opportunity costs, individual farm profitability data will be analysed in selected regions and this will contribute to quantifying the impact of soil, climate, and regional economic variables on estimated costs. These results will also serve as input to, and calibration of, the CRAFTY model which is used for modelling land use changes given future climate and socio-economic scenarios. The postdoc will also contribute to the synthesis these result by combining cost estimations with benefit estimates of rewilding and suggest cost-efficient nature-based solutions for ecological restoration. The results will moreover be disaggregated for key stakeholder groups, allowing to identify winners and losers from rewilding, possible needs for compensation, and the relation to business models.

The postdoc (24 months) will be realized in Nancy (campus AgroParisTech Nancy) and will be supervised by researcher Jens Abildtrup (BETA/INRAE) in close cooperation with professor Jette B. Jacobsen (University of Copenhagen).

Training and skills

Expected qualifications:

  1. PhD in economics (acquired recently), preferably in environmental or agricultural economics.
  2. Experiences with econometric analyses
  3. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

An advantage if experiences with:

  • Land use change modelling
  • Contribution to inter-disciplinary projects
  • Cost benefit analyses

Applicants should send a motivation letter and a full curriculum vitae to Jens Abildtrup by 31/12/2022.

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