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Overcoming inertia: insights from evolutionary economics into improved energy and climate policy

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  • Nathalie Lazaric

    () (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Kevin Maréchal

    () (ULB - Université Libre de Bruxelles [Bruxelles])

Abstract

The mainstream view in economics has been a key factor in designing climate policies. Given that the controversy over the “efficiency paradox” has shown that mainstream economics is not neutral in the way it deals with climate change, the purpose of this paper is to investigate what insights could come out of analysing this crucial issue through an alternative economic framework. The choice of an evolutionary line of thought is then quite straightforward. It stems from both its departure from the perfect rationality hypothesis and its shift of focus towards a better understanding of innovation, system change and economic dynamics. All together this renders evolutionary economics a suitable complementary framework for designing climate policies and for managing the needed transition towards a low carbon economy. Most notably, the evolutionary framework allows us to depict the presence of two sources of inertia (i.e at the levels of individuals through “habits” and at the level of socio-technical systems) that mutually reinforce each other in a path-dependent manner. Accordingly, decision-makers should design measures (e.g. commitment strategies, niche management, etc.) that specifically target those change-resisting factors as they tend to reduce the efficiency of traditional instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Lazaric & Kevin Maréchal, 2010. "Overcoming inertia: insights from evolutionary economics into improved energy and climate policy," Post-Print hal-00452205, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00452205
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00452205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brette, Olivier & Buhler, Thomas & Lazaric, Nathalie & Marechal, Kevin, 2014. "Reconsidering the nature and effects of habits in urban transportation behavior," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 399-426, September.
    2. Nathalie Lazaric & Jun Jin & Ali Douai & Cécile Ayerbe, 2014. "Role of Users in the Developing Eco-Innovation: Comparative case research in China and France," Post-Print halshs-01070168, HAL.
    3. Nathalie Lazaric & Vanessa Oltra, 2012. "Sustainable Consumption in an Evolutionary Framework: How to Foster Behavioural Change?," Chapters,in: Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Chai, Andreas & Bradley, Graham & Lo, Alex & Reser, Joseph, 2015. "What time to adapt? The role of discretionary time in sustaining the climate change value–action gap," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 95-107.
    5. Kelly Levin & Benjamin Cashore & Steven Bernstein & Graeme Auld, 2012. "Overcoming the tragedy of super wicked problems: constraining our future selves to ameliorate global climate change," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 45(2), pages 123-152, June.
    6. Martinsson, Johan & Lundqvist, Lennart J. & Sundström, Aksel, 2011. "Energy saving in Swedish households. The (relative) importance of environmental attitudes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5182-5191, September.
    7. Marc-Hubert Depret & Abdelillah Hamdouch, 2012. "Clean Technologies and Perspectives of the Green Economy in Emergent and Developing Countries: Foundations, Opportunities and Constraints," Chapters,in: Crisis, Innovation and Sustainable Development, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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