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  • 1.
    Jussila Hammes, Johanna
    et al.
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi, TEK.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi, TEK.
    Nerhagen, Lena
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi Borlänge, TEK-B.
    The impact of education on environmental policy decision-making2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Civil servants in governmental agencies regularly both propose environmental policies for the elected politicians and make own decisions. In making these decisions they may be influenced by legal norms, agency policy and culture, professional norms acquired through education as well as personal political preferences. This study tests how students in late stages of professional training in economics, biology and social sciences handle information in order to make a stylized choice of a national nutrient limit for lake water, or choose a program at a municipal level to lower the nutrient level in a local lake. The purpose is to test whether professional norms acquired during academic education and/or the presence of an international standard influences decision-making. We examine three hypotheses. Firstly, students’ political attitudes affect their choice of major, i.e. biology, economics or social sciences, and thereby indirectly their decisions. We find that the distribution of the political values among disciplines is compatible with the hypothesis, which therefore is not rejected. Secondly, a student’s major influences the kind of information they use and consequently the policy choice they will recommend. In plain words we expected biology students to go for environmentally more ambitious (lower) nutrient limits and economics students to prefer economically efficient (higher) levels. The central result is that while economics majors are more likely than biology or social science majors to choose a cost-efficient nutrient limit, the mean and median values of the nutrient levels chosen by the three groups do not differ from one another in a statistically significant way. Economists thus have a higher standard deviation in their answers than the other majors. The third hypothesis is that the presence of an internationally approved standard level for the nutrient content will significantly influence the choice of national nutrient limit. We find that biology students are influenced to set a lower nutrient limit when presented with the standard than otherwise, thereby rejecting the null hypothesis for this group. For students in economics and social sciences, no significant effect is found. Our results have implications for the feasibility of micromanagement in government agencies as recruiting economists to environmental agencies may not be sufficient to ensure economically efficient decisions. The findings also should sound a warning about the skills learned by economics majors at the two largest universities in Sweden: while some students seem familiar with the concepts of optimality and cost efficiency and able to use them, this applies to far from all of them.

  • 2.
    Nerhagen, Lena
    et al.
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi, TEK.
    Fors, Heather Congdon
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Hansson, Lisa
    Högskolen i Molde, Norge.
    Hammes, Johanna Jussila
    Konjunkturinstitutet.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi, TEK.
    Politiska krav och tjänstemäns roll för analys av och beslut om styrmedel: Sammanfattande slutrapport2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable development implies that society’s limited resources should be used efficiently, taking into account the various impacts on society – social, economic and environmental. To achieve established societal goals efficiently, various aspects have to be accounted for in the design of policy measures. Within the EU a Regulatory Impact Assessment, where a cost-benefit analysis is included, needs to accompany all major regulatory initiatives. According to research and different policy assessment, Sweden lacks an established praxis regarding this type of analysis in the area of environmental policy but also in the field of energy and transport. The purpose of this project is to investigate how Sweden uses this type of information in the negotiations that take place within the EU regarding policy proposals but also investigate the reasons for use or non-use. The focus is on what role the organization and the bureaucrats play for the collection of this type of information.

    The overall conclusion that can be drawn from the three sub-studies included in the project, as well as the discussion at the closing seminar, is that this is not an established way of working in the Swedish government system. This can be explained by lack of competence, an established mistrust, management by objectives and lack of an institutional framework for when and how this type of broader impact assessment is to be conducted. At the closing seminar, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency presented that it is now working on a guide to help officials to analyze at an early stage whether there is a need for regulation by society, to initiate the work by asking the question “What is the problem?”. We think that this is a step in the right direction, but we also see that the economists working out in government are often alone or very few and may therefore need different forms of support to develop the work on this kind of, often complex, analysis.

  • 3.
    Nerhagen, Lena
    et al.
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi Borlänge, TEK-B.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi Stockholm, TEK-S.
    Jussila Hammes, Johanna
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, Transportekonomi Stockholm, TEK-S.
    Response to a social dilemma: an analysis of the choice between an economic and an environmental optimum in a policy making context2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Many countries have begun to require benefit-cost analysis as a way of informing key regulatory decisions. However, its actual use seem to be limited, especially in the area of environmental, health, and safety regulation. Reasons for this seem to be lack of knowledge and experience among decision makers and that established quality objectives prevent the use of this type of analysis and deliberation. We present the results from an experiment designed to investigate choice behavior in a public sector context. Students with different academic majors were asked to act as decision makers. There were two choice situations: one in a municipality deciding on an action plan and one in a government agency having to propose a national limit value. In both settings, the outcome that would pass a benefit-cost test would not achieve a natural state of the environment, hence a social dilemma choice situation. We find that a majority of the respondents prefer outcomes that can be considered environmental “optimum” but that there is a difference depending on academic major. The choice context also influences the response behavior and so does the information about an international standard. The latter increases the likelihood to accept alternatives that imply higher costs.

  • 4.
    Nilsson, Jan-Eric
    et al.
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Andersson, Mats
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Hansen, Fredrik
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Isacsson, Gunnar
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Lindberg, Gunnar
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Nerhagen, Lena
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Infrastrukturpolitik på samhällsekonomisk grund2009Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A government committee, Trafikverksutredningen, has commissioned VTI to review the national infrastructure policy regarding construction and maintenance of roads and railways as well as concerning policies to ascertain its appropriate use. Based on our review, recommendations are given relative to the appropriate organisation of a future infrastructure agency and the ways in which responsibilities for different types of decisions can be split between the political and administrative/agency level in order to enhance efficiency in the use of scarce resources. The report has also been published as Appendix 2 to the official committee report (SOU 2009:31).

  • 5.
    Pyddoke, Roger
    et al.
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Nerhagen, Lena
    Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut.
    Miljöpolitik på samhällsekonomisk grund: en fallstudie om styrmedlet miljökvalitetsnormer för partiklar och kvävedioxid2010Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the present project is to examine whether or not economic analysis and quantified assessments have been part of the information used when designing and implementing these environmental quality standards for nitrodioxid and particles in air. Such assessments arc regularly used in the transport sector in Sweden but several studies in Sweden and abroad have found that this is not the case for environmental policies. Most of these studies argue that this type of information is important for an efficient design of policy instruments and abatement measures. Efficient policy design was also considered an important part in the new environmental policy and the Swedish EPA was commissioned to develop methods of integrating costs of environmental impacts into economic and social decision- making models but also to investigate the possibility to use economic policy instruments. A finding in this study is that the Environmental quality standards have resulted in a number of activities at different levels of society. At the municipality level measurements of air quality are undertaken and information on these levels is provided to the public, while the Swedish EPA develops regulations and also makes assessments and decides on research programmes. The impact of the standards on air quality and societal costs however has so far been limited since few of the abatement measures presented in the action programmes have been implemented and these are to some extent introduced for other reasons than air quality. There is however a risk that the Environmental quality standards have resulted in abatement measures which have had a minor impact on human health. The conclusion is that socioeconomic analysis and quantified assessments are and have been lacking in the decision making regarding environmental policies for improved air quality in Sweden. Therefore policy makers are not notified about possible conflicts between improvements in air quality and other objectives in society and neither are they notified about possible synergies between different abatement measures. Quantified economic analysis is used in the transport sector partly for the reason of assessing trade-offs and possible conflicts between different policy objectives. This is also likely to be an important aspect to consider in the design of environmental policies and it is therefore troublesome that this kind of a systematic approach to evaluation is not used on a regular basis.

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