Climate change remains one of the major challenges faced by societies today, and are the target of public policies from governments around the world. Pressing issues related to sustainability and climate change often demand a close and rigorous examination of the context within which they arise. Given the wide-ranging impacts of climate change, climate policy no longer remains the sole domain of governments. Civil society organizations, non-profits, social impact enterprises, development funding bodies, and academic institutions are all key stakeholders to help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. Thus, there is a need to provide practical, targeted, and rigorous training to those who will eventually find themselves on either receiving or delivering such policies.
This course will build foundations in understanding climate change and sustainability through the lens of public policy. The course covers environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) topics such as climate finance, renewable energy, and other carbon mitigation strategies in depth. In addition to building knowledge of sustainability and climate change in policy, the course will also develop core skills in impact evaluation, data science, behavioural science, and experimental methods. These will be taught in the context of resolving contemporary problems in sustainability and climate studies.
Successful students at the end of the course will be able to:
· Build and develop knowledge of ESG and climate change and its importance in the context of policy, business, and the economy at large
· Enhance the application of tools such as econometric methods, data science, behavioural science, and law to the domain of sustainability and climate change
· Provide contemporary perspectives on public policy and sustainable behaviour, climate finance, and renewable energy use
· Engage critically with legal, behavioural, and economic aspects of climate change and sustainability from the lens of public policy
Undergraduate, postgraduate, and early-career researchers (including doctoral students), working professionals in the social impact, non-profit, civil society or development consulting sector are all eligible to participate. The course assumes little prior knowledge of sustainability or public policy, and is meant to introduce participants to climate studies and policy regardless of background or prior training, and will build on this introduction to cover some advanced areas of inquiry.
Research Author, Dept. of Economics, Monk®
Anirudh Tagat holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick, UK and pursued his doctoral research at the IIT Bombay and Monash University Research Academy (Mumbai/Melbourne). Anirudh has previously been awarded grant funding from the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). He is currently Deputy Editor at South Asia Research. His research interests include cross-cultural differences in decision-making, intra-household bargaining, and experimental economics.
Assistant Professor, MDAE
Dr. Sandhya Krishnan has taught data analytics and R programming at various places across India, and to a wide range of audiences including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other professionals. She believes that interesting stories are hidden behind numbers and anyone with a flair for numbers and the right training in data analytics can unravel these stories and present them to the world. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam and an MA in Economics from the University of Mumbai.
Sustainability and Public Policy
This unit will introduce public policy from the lens of microeconomics. It will situate social and public policy within a broader institutional framework, arguing for why policy comes into play when dealing with issues such as externalities and market failure. Participants will also be introduced to studying strategic interactions via game theory. It will also highlight how individuals interact with policies in the form of principal-agent problems, highlighting moral hazard and adverse selection. In the second part, students will be exposed to legal theories and applications of theories of fairness and justice to public policy. These will be illustrated with real world illustrations to aid understanding and provide an applied perspective (e.g., ideas of distributive justice in taxation or public goods). The unit will also cover extensively issues related to ethics when it comes to public policy: these relate to broadly to human rights and paternalism in public policy
This unit will introduce the fundamentals of sustainability and climate science, providing context for the global problem of climate change. Applications of public policy to climate change will be discussed briefly. Following this, it will deep dive into current policies in India and elsewhere, focusing on renewable energy, climate finance, and carbon-mitigating strategies. The final part of this unit will discuss in detail developing climate finance solutions as well as understanding the regulatory framework for sustainability policies.
Sound public policy is based on evidence, and this unit will examine how to provide an empirical basis for policy decision-making. It will draw off contemporary research and practice in impact evaluation techniques, introducing fundamental econometric concepts as well. Additionally, it will cover the basics of randomization in policy, which has recently gained traction. The unit will close out with illustrations of various evaluation designs in sustainability as well as a big data approach to public policy.
Increasingly, policymakers around the world are attuned to the idea that incentives alone may not serve the larger goals of policy, especially in sustainability context. Extant evidence and insights from the fields of behavioural science, psychology, and behavioural economics now provide a basis for incorporating these ideas into mainstream public policy dealing with individual behaviour and sustainability. This unit will cover in detail the case for behavioural insights in public policy, and provide illustrations of various behavioural science applications in areas of gender, education, health, financial inclusion, among others.
MDAE alumni working in diverse roles across leading companies.
Head – Treasury Economics and Strategy, RIL
We have had a very good experience with a student from MDAE who has been working with us over the past three years. Practical exposure is what differentiates MDAE students, and we observed that she was able to close the gap between academia, and real-life faster than fresh graduates from other renowned institutes. MDAE is doing a stellar job in preparing candidates for the job market.
Chief Economist Crisil Ltd
With sound training in economic concepts, practical experience and exposure to real-world issues. MDAE students appeared well prepared for the job market.
CEO & Senior fellow at IDFC Institute
We had an excellent experience working with a student from the MDAE. Unlike most, he had an extraordinary curiosity and a willingness to learn and place textbook economics in their historical and political context, which itself involved digging into 500 years of political history. Based on this experience of working with him, we have made him an offer to join us full-time once he graduates from MDAE
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