Ricerca CERCA

Area Engineering

N.G. Roegen/Daly vs Solow/Stiglitz Controversy: Are R&D Efforts (“Resource Augmenting Technical Progress”) Capable of Ensuring Sustainability in the Long Run? Case study: the Italian Electrical Servic


Reference persons BERNARDO RUGGERI

Description In the field of the sustainability science, there are different approaches to address the Theory of Production, which are based on the modelling and use of production factors (i.e., capital, human labor, resources, and technological innovation). Generally, there is a tendency to divide the spectrum of theories in terms of “strong” and “weak” sustainability, and to apply economic or techno-economic models relying on historic data. However, the use of biophysics reference parameters as matter and energy are less common. One of the critical points in the field is to effectively quantify, using biophysical models, the contribution or “elasticity” of technological innovation (i.e., R&D efforts to augment the productivity of resources) to the general production functions.
This thesis work aims to confront the hypothesis of weak sustainability (Stiglitz) with strong sustainability (Georgescu-Roegen), emphasizing the role of in R&D to increases the resources productivity considering the finiteness of natural resources. The case study aims to revise and confront both approaches using the Italian electricity sector as reference. For this, historical data regarding the consumption and production of electricity over the past 20 years will be considered. Statistical analyses will be performed to obtain the coefficients of elasticity of the production factors using biophysical units (energy) and both sustainability visions (strong vs weak) will be compared to elucidate whether the ratio between R&D rates and demand growth rates are, indeed, greater than the elasticity of resources for electrical energy production.

Deadline 12/05/2023      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA

© Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY