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PhD student, specifically in "green energy" demand and consumer choice

Posted on: 
May 11, 2012
Application Deadline: 
Jun 20, 2012

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We are looking for a PhD candidate with the ability to do high-quality research on “green energy demand and consumer choice. The overall aim of the PhD project is to understand how consumers make choices and what factors that drives peoples preferences. This is vital for designing policies that are effective, acceptable, and feasible. The focus of this project is on household preferences concerning energy sources and demand for energy, both for electricity and transportation. Preferences may be both time variant, as well as context variant. That is, over time consumer preferences may change as a result of changes in social norms through the whole society. The research here will focus on changes in consumer choice both over time and between different types of consumers by adopting two different approaches on energy demand. In particular, two issues will be investigated: 1. preference stability and the value of 'green energy” in a multi-country setting 2. preference heterogeneity and the value of “green energy” in a multi-country setting The data-analysis will be based on two substantial surveys organized and developed by the OECD in 2008 and 2011. In addressing both questions, there are econometric challenges, and one aim of this project is to develop/adapt methods to address these challenges. The PhD candidate will work in a larger research environment specialized in different aspects of environmental and resource economics. The research group consists of researchers in economics, environmental economics and economic history. The candidate will be linked to the Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics ( with currently approximately 30 researchers employed by Umeå University or the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The Centre is hosted at the department of economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University (

The position requires a master degree in economics or other related, quantitative fields (such as Statistics or Mathematics), as well as an openness to engage in the entire rubric of issues related to environmental and energy economics and micro-econometric methods. Given the highly quantitative nature of the project, important skills will include: basic understanding of environmental and energy economics, in particular of environmental valuation and demand estimation with micro-economic and/or survey data, and basic (Master’s level) understanding of microeconometric methods and a good statistical/mathematical grounding. In addition, some experience with programming (eg. higher level packages such as Matlab or R, or lower level ones such as C,C++, Fortran, Java or even GAMS) and some degree of mathematical maturity will be required. Knowledge and experience in programming and/or applied econometrics are required. Personal qualities such as ability to collaborate, high degree of self-motivation and enthusiasm will be considered. We expect excellent oral and written communication skills in English and the ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with others.

We look forward to receiving your application!



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Göran Bostedt

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