The EF Program aspires to provide a comprehensive and rigorous framework for understanding the behavioral changes that are required to achieve social and environmental transformations and what policies and institutional reforms are needed to bring about the required incentives.

Explicit consideration is given to:  

  • The governance of transitional change.
  • The provision of equal life chances
  • The capacity of the economic system to deal with (prevent and adjust to) disruptive changes.
  • The conception of economic development and wellbeing in a finite and interlinked world. 

The program’s research integrates tightly with the natural, environmental, population, and systems science frameworks that IIASA is leading on, thus providing the multi-disciplinary approach needed for an understanding of the transition to sustainable, fair, and resilient economies. The program aims to act as an international hub for high-level external economic expertise as well as expertise from other relevant sciences (e.g., sociology, psychology, environmental and natural sciences, mathematics) to engage in capacity building, and to establish links with leading international research and policy institutions to leverage internal resources. 

Current EF Research Fields

The EF program started on 1 January 2021 and its research agenda is still being developed. While the program’s current research focuses on the two fields below, as well as topical research pertaining to economic aspects of COVID-19, the program is in the process of developing a research agenda for two additional fields on the Governance of Transitions (GT) and Economic Development and Wellbeing in a Finite and Interlinked World (EFW). Aspects of these fields are already present in the research undertaken under the two existing research fields where relevant.

EF_equal_lifechances © (c) Designer491 | Dreamstime.com

Economics of Equal Life Chances (EELC)

Research undertaken as part of the EELC field focuses on issues related to distributional consequences of development trends and transformative policies, especially as it relates to vulnerable populations.
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Economics of disruptive change (EDC)

The EDC field embraces economic behaviors under the risk of large disruptive (regime changing) shocks, including climate tipping points, eco-system breakdown, pandemic shocks, and disruptive technological or political changes.
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Michael Kuhn © Photo by M.Silveri | IIASA

Program Director

Michael Kuhn

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar
Economic Frontiers Program
+43(0) 2236 807 371

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Selected Program Publications

Bloom, D.E., Kuhn, M., & Prettner, K. (2022). Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses. Journal of Economic Literature 60 (1) 85-131. 10.1257/jel.20201642.

Sanchez-Romero, M. (2022). Assessing the generational impact of COVID-19 using National Transfer Accounts (NTAs). In: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2022. pp. 1-35 Vienna Institute of Demography. ISBN 978-3-7001-8882-7 10.1553/populationyearbook2022.res1.2.

Caulkins, J.P., Grass, D., Feichtinger, G., Hartl, R.F., Kort, P.M., Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, A., Seidl, A., & Wrzaczek, S. (2022). COVID-19 and Optimal Lockdown Strategies: The Effect of New and More Virulent Strains. In: Pandemics: Insurance and Social Protection. Eds. Boado-Penas, M.C., Eisenberg, J., & Şahin‬‬‬, Ş., pp. 163-190 Springer, Cham. ISBN 978-3-030-78334-1 10.1007/978-3-030-78334-1_9.

Chen, S., Kuhn, M., Prettner, K., Bloom, D.E., & Wang, C. (2021). Macro-level efficiency of health expenditure: Estimates for 15 major economies. Social Science and Medicine 287 e114270. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114270.

Blogs

Concept of quality health care in the city © Nataliia Mysik | Dreamstime.com

Exploring the macro-level efficiency of health care systems

Measured in terms of economic welfare, including consumption and life expectancy, the share of health care expenditures in most developed economies is too low.