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RUSEM: A numerical model for policymaking and climate applications

Andres Navarro and Francisco J. Tapiador

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 165, issue C, -

Abstract: Uncertainties and non-linearities between processes involved in rural dynamics pose a challenge to planners and policymakers. Numerical models minimize the risk of making an inappropriate decision and assist planners with making informed policy decisions. In this paper, we present a quantitative analysis of the social, economic and demographic dimensions of rural dynamics using a system dynamics approach. The resulting model (RUSEM: RUral Socio-Economic Model) consists of four main modules that reproduce the main characteristics of the rural areas, with a focus for the European case. The economic module contains the most important variables in the dynamics of local economies - for example, the provision of key services, the availability of public services, and local economic structure. The social and demographic modules use large age groups to analyse the labour market and population dynamics. The attractiveness module summarises push-pull factors affecting rural migration. The model is used to evaluate thirty-six socio-economic scenarios of rural Spain. The results show that very small villages could be incapable to stop rural decline because the absence of “critical mass” while mid-sized villages require targeted actions to reinforce the positive feedbacks of local economy. RUSEM has two goals: to offer computational support enabling robust decision-making in policy formulation in conditions of deep uncertainty and to integrate the socio-economic dimension into Earth System Models (ESMs) providing a numerical model that can be embedded into ESMs at a relatively cheap computational cost.

Keywords: Sustainability; Policy; Rural; Economy; Climate; System Dynamics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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