Energy is a fundamental engine of economic growth. To produce their services energy sources are combined with energy technologies. There are three dimensions of energy that are of interest to Economics: the availability of energy sources and rate at which they are exploited; their cost or price; the technological development associated with their efficient use. In this vein economists have asked what is the optimal rate of extraction of exhaustible energy resources, what is the impact on the macro-economy of oil price changes, what are the determinants of energy technological innovation. Recently, the increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses associated with the use of fossil energy sources has led to increased concern about climate change. Economists have developed conceptual and empirical tools to study the economic consequences and impacts of climate alterations. One area where the impact of climate change is expected to be most serious is agriculture, with reduced productivity, water scarcity, migration, reduced food supply, price volatility. The Economics of climate change also addresses the issue of policy intervention, both in terms of mitigation of emissions and of adaptation to a warmer climate, and in terms of cooperation between countries and of the design of international environmental agreements. More generally, energy, environment, demographics, and economic growth are brought together and studied within the framework of sustainable development.
Researchers in this field are members of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Milan. The results of their research appear in journals such as Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, Climatic Change, Energy Economics, The Energy Journal, Energy Policy, World Bank Econmic Review, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, European Review of Agricultural Economics, Food Policy.
Applied energy economics; sustainable economic growth; environment and economic growth; economic assessment of climate change impacts; climate change mitigation and adaptation policies; trade-related environmental regulations; climate change, migration and agriculture; agricultural and food policies; analysis of sustainable food supply chains.