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Long term economic modelling : stakes, tools and challenges


Crassous Renaud

Long-term prospective have been an expanding field of research for economists, applied to various issues as development policies, energy planning and climate change. Especially in the latter, quantitative assessment of future plausible socio-economic trajectories is required to seize the margins of freedom for both emission reductions and adaptation, to study potential damages and to try and elaborate robust conclusions for decision-makers, in a context of large uncertainties.

Although existing tools used for long-term prospects show an apparent large diversity, in fact they derive from only a few modelling paradigms, imported from other economic fields and adapted to the stakes of long term integrated modelling, as 15 years of intense developments led to significant methodological progress. Nevertheless crucial challenges such as the assessment of transition costs, the representation of socio-economic disequilibrium or the interplay between development and environmental policies have been neglected in comparison to their crucial role in the search for collective hedging strategies against climatic risks. These stakes sound particularly relevant for the mediterranean area where preexisting vulnerability on water resources, geopolitical tensions and migration flows already fuel important concerns about collective action to foster a stable economic development.