Master students’ projects

Our chair also hosts some Master projects from other EPFL departments. The Master students work under our supervision on some subjects of interest for our chair ranging from economics of knowledge to environmental or migration economics.

Some recent projects by our students:

  • Student Migration and Green Awareness: An International Analysis of Migration Influence over Environmental Concern Evolution (Louis Delannoy)

The post-Cold War period has witnessed the soar of two parallel yet seemingly unrelated phenomena: international student migration and environmental awareness. Following the influence that migratory flows have upon political preferences and national beliefs, student migration is expected to be positively linked to environmental care. This Master project performs the analysis and evolution of migration flows and green awareness between 40 countries from 2002 to 2012. To do so, we provide a new comprehensive framework designed to assess green awareness evolution in each country paving the way to a transversal comprehension of sustainability adoption. Our data suggest that (i) tertiary student migration percentage declines of -31.9% (ii) green awareness slightly increases in receiving country 0.99% and decreases in sending countries -7.76%, and that (iii) the green awareness of destination is strongly correlated to green awareness of students-sending countries (0.56 correlation factor). It can thus be considered that the green atmosphere or environmental dynamic of the receiving country affect students who transmit later on this behavior to their home country. Additionally, our data suggest that the information transmission is more likely to occur during the first two years following the student migration, according to the time-lapse effect or delayed information transmission phenomena.

Keywords: student migration, environmental care, green awareness, migration influence.



  • Geoengineering for Climate change mitigation: A mapping of research activity in an unconventional field (Miguel Gomez Quintanilla)

Climate change is a key challenge for our societies, and strategies for mitigation to limit the future risks such as carbon capture or switching to low-carbon emission sources are key to success. Mainly unknown by the general public, geoengineering techniques are far less considered in the global fight against climate change, possibly due to their controversial nature. Understanding research patterns in the field of geoengineering is necessary to help define the best strategies for energy transition and climate change alleviation and prevent potential environmental and diplomatic risks. In this report, a mapping of research activity, financing institutions and patents is presented with the goal of having a better understanding of the panorama of research and development in geoengineering. We find that although often cited by major actors in public interventions (Harvard University, DARPA, Bangladesh government, …), the technology is still far from being mature for a practical implementation. Diplomatic, scientific and financing limitations could explain this state of fact. Nevertheless, recent decisions by the Chinese government to create and dedicated center for geoengineering and the display of geoengineering in several international reports by the IPCC suggest that this unconventional technology might play a key role in the future.

Keywords: geoengineering, research and development, innovation, economics of science, environmental risks.