4:00-4:09PM Reconciling Transportation and Residential Location : A Sustainability Evaluation
Emilie Laychock, Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University
Cars have affected how we live and this references both location and quality of life. The travel and residential flexibility these products have created is countered by the environmental and human health impacts that are an outcome of their use, the most significant of which is the speed of climate change. This paper assesses the interconnectedness of the automobile with our current economic system and discusses how these attributes can be leveraged to align with an infrastructure where cars are requisite to a more sustainable transportation system. The focus of this discussion is limited to a representative suburban location, but the recommendations provided align with characteristics of cities and towns in the U.S.
4:09-4:18PM Economics In Practice: Sustainable Chocolate
Jonathan Serrano, Department of Economics, Northeastern University
This project focuses on chocolate, specifically sustainable production, and addresses prevailing issues in the present chocolate market, highlighting its alignment to standard neoclassical economics. We review chocolate production and focus on the impact and market outcomes of present “big chocolate”(i.e., Nestle, Mars) and compare this with a specialty brand, Pacari, known for its sustainability and acknowledged for its ethical behavior. The outcome of the project is a case study targeted to exploring sustainability and the measurement of externalities from a qualitative and qualitative approach. The case study can be used in undergraduate economics classes as a means of understanding sustainability: economic equity, social justice, and environmental justice.
4:18-4:27PM ECOLOGICAL MACROECONOMICS: A REVIEW OF THE IS-LM MODEL
Adonnay Martins Barbosa – Federal Fluminense University (UFF)
Traditional macroeconomics disregards issues such as natural resources, pollution, biophysical limits, and environmental depletion from its models. Some ecological economists explain the need to develop an ecological macroeconomy without neglecting the interactions between natural (environmental), social and economic systems. Thus, the objective of this article is to analyze the introduction of ecological macroeconomics assumptions in the interpretation of the IS-LM model. For this, two proposals were analyzed, the IS-LM-EC model developed by Daly and Farley, and the IS-LM-EE model conceived by Heyes. The IS-LM-EC model consists of the introduction of the ecological capacity curve, which reflects the biophysical equilibrium, however, the model is criticized for its simplification, by adapting to the IS-LM model only an external constraint to the model. Heyes introduces the EE curve in the IS-LM model, which represents the environmental balance. For the construction of the EE curve, a measure of production efficiency estimated in terms of energy uses was used. The models have theoretical limitations, but open the way for the inclusion of environmental restrictions in the policies.
4:27:4:36PM The opportunity of economics: Reconciling the relationship between progress and sustainability
Lily Cunningham, Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, Northeastern University
Natasha Keidl, Economics, Northeastern University
Principles of Economics textbooks are often the only exposure outside course lecture that non-economics majors will have with respect to the formal discussion of the assumptions and framework that guides our economic system. Our project addresses the significance of Principles of Economics and the missed opportunity in economics instruction that is a result of overt omissions of the relationship between economics; the environment: ecosystem balance, species habitat loss, degradation, and the speed of climate change; and human marginalization. We use a bibliometric assessment to identify keywords from economics papers published from January 2017 to January 2022 and then assess where, if, and how these terms are addressed in the top 5 Principles textbooks, as determined by market share. Our findings highlight that there indeed is both a missed opportunity and a need for corrective action in instruction.
4:36-4:45PM Make our voices heard: Examining the Roots of Consistent Following of Public opinion on Climate Policy by American Lawmakers.
Arthur Langlois, Northeastern University
In the United States, climate change has gained greater traction in the media and society. However, in spite of this there remains a significant gap between environmental policy and social discourse with the former largely perceived as insufficient. A 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center found that the majority of Americans felt that the government should be doing more to limit climate change and protect the environment. This research follows on the Pew study and assesses how information flow affects public perception on the environment. More specifically, the project aims to answer two significant questions: 1. What is the relationship between public perception and climate policy? 2. What are the other potential channels that drive policy? The scope of the quantitative aspect of the project will be limited to the number and share of Federal level environmental policies directly revolving around mitigation and adaptation to climate change between 1981 and 2020 and will incorporate data from public opinion surveys (i.e., World Value Survey), along with selected proxies for the evolution of the social framework such as trust in politicians, unemployment rate and population age.
4:45-4:54PM Assessment of Ethics in Economics
Ashley Cornwell, Department of Economics, Northeastern University
Rylan Gonzalez, Department of Business Administration, Northeastern University
Decisions are made through a seemingly objective process reliant on market efficiency to adequately price risk, reward, and benefit. However, the natural experiment of application of this model of valuation has yielded an increased speed of climate change, highlighting that some aspect of the optimization process is not being considered or is omitted. We evaluate the role of ethics in economics education and assess how inclusion of this parameter could modify economic decision-making. We then address the formal inclusion of ethics in economics departments, evaluating the top 25 economics programs in the U.S. to see if they include an ethics elective and if so if ethics are also a requirement. In concluding our discussion, we make a case for the inclusion of ethics as a mandatory complement of the economics major and minor.