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Thesis proposals

Economic analysis of the consequences of nuclear accidents


Themes: Law, Management, Economic, Politic

Thesis location: Economics on Nuclear Risk Laboratory​ (LERN)​ - Fontenay-aux-Roses

Start: October 2021

Skills required

Master​'s Degree in E​pi​demiology​, Public Health, Biostatistics
Knowledges in cardiology​
Notions in oncology and radiotherapy

Age limit: 26 years old unless otherwise stated.

Thesis subject

The Nuclear Risk Economics Laboratory (LERN) of the IRSN is offering a 3-year doctoral contract starting in September 2021, for the completion of a thesis in economics in partnership with the Economics Department of Sciences Po, under the supervision of Mirko Wiederholt. The thesis will focus on the analysis of the economic consequences of nuclear accidents. Since 2005, the LERN has been developing methods for evaluating the costs of nuclear accidents. The objective of this thesis is to address the main limitations of the studies of the LERN using two methodological innovations. First, the aim is to go beyond the enumerative method used until now by the LERN, which consists in listing all the accident costs in isolation and estimating separately the macroeconomic effects associated with each cost element. In reality, a nuclear accident simultaneously disrupts the production chain, regional trade, the labor market and possibly financial markets. The objective is to take into account the dynamic macroeconomic aspects of the accident and the interactions between different sectors and regions of the economy, using a general equilibrium model. Second, this thesis aims to propose a new method for calculating the "image effects" of the nuclear accident, based on the use of behavioral and experimental economics methods. Image effects refer to changes in tourism and food consumption habits due to the deterioration of France's image following an accident at a nuclear power plant. The doctoral student will contribute to an experiment to estimate these costs. The thesis mobilizes two fields of economics, but will predominantly be focused on macroeconomics. The student is expected to be proactive, bring new ideas and methods. The PhD student will be fully integrated into both IRSN and Sciences Po and will benefit from both research environments (expertise in nuclear economics, access to a software for calculating the costs of an accident and knowledge of IRSN crisis management doctrines; supervision by renowned researchers in macroeconomics and behavioral economics and access to research seminars at Sciences Po). The thesis can be written in English and composed of three academic papers. One of the three articles is freely chosen by the doctoral student. 

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Applicants are invited to describe their past and future experiences (​​re​search paper)

Sophie CETRE​

phone: 01 58 35 86 28


phone: 01 58 35 92 48


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