PhD thesis defence: Alexandre Berthe, November 25th, 2015

On November 25th, 2015, Alexandre Berthe (GREThA, Université de Bordeaux, France) has publicly defended his PhD thesis entitled Environmental justice and welfare: an economic analysis of environmental inequalities (in French) in Bordeaux (France).


Matthieu Clément – University of Bordeaux – Supervisor
Pascale Combes Motel – University of Auvergne – Referee
Sylvie Ferrari – University of Bordeaux – Supervisor
Catherine Larrère – University Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne
Gilles Rotillon – University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense – President
Alban Thomas – Toulouse School of Economics – Referee


This thesis studies the environmental inequalities in an objective of social justice. The first part offers an interdisciplinary definition of these inequalities in order to catch their multidimensional nature and to show their usefulness in environmental economics and ecological economics. Based on a philosophy of economics perspective, the fairness of environmental inequalities is analysed by using different egalitarian conceptions of justice with a consideration of the existence of other societal objectives. Following this theoretical development, the second part is devoted to an analysis of the issues of access to water and sanitation services in the context of Brazil. After a discussion over the situation related to the water and sanitation sector in Brazil, the socioeconomic and institutional determinants of the access to these services are identified using econometric analyses at the household level. These analyses enable to expose key determinants in the perspective of environmental justice including income level and ethnicity. In addition, they show the role of the state level thanks to the use of multilevel models. By using an indicator of the access to water and sanitation services elaborated through a factor analysis, the inequalities associated to these services are then measured by different methods which correspond to each conception of justice developed in the first part.


Alexandre Berthe notably co-edited a special issue of the Review of Economic Philosophy dedicated to “Justice and Environment” (with Sylvie Ferrari) in 2015 (link) and published a paper entitled “Mechanisms explaining the impact of economic inequality on environmental deterioration” (with Luc Elie) in Ecological Economics.

You can find further information on Alexandre Berthe on his personal page.

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