Escolhas selects scholarship students in the 3rd notice of the Chair of Economy and Environment

Learn a little more about the selected themes

Instituto Escolhas is pleased to disclose those selected to its third notice of the Program of Scholarship of the Chair of Economy and Environment.

It is the third notice of the Scholarship Program that has already supported 11 researches in its two first editions. For the assessment of the projects enrolled in the notice, which is public and widely disclosed, Instituto Escolhas gathered a assessing bench composed by Rudi Rocha (PhD in Economics and professor of the Business Management School of Fundação Getúlio Vargas – EAESP-FGV), Sandra Paulsen (PhD in Economics and researcher of Ipea), both components of the Scientific Board of Escolhas, in addition to Marcia Taborda (Sustainability Manager of Banco Itaú), Natália Nunes (PhD in Economics and scientific coordinator of Escolhas), and Sergio Leitão (executive officer of Escolhas) on February 25.

There was a total of six post-graduation students selected, being three students of the Master’s degree and the other three of PhD’s degree. The researches address topics related to the climate changes, impacts of the rupture of Mariana’s dam on the health of the local population, the measurement of green jobs in the country, to the climate governance, and commitments of the country agreed for reduction of carbon and deforestation and forest recovery in the state of São Paulo.

Meeting of presentation of the Scholarship program to the students

To Sérgio Leitão, it is an important initiative to foster the research in Brazil focused on themes that may provide support to good political decisions in the future, with generation of knowledge in the environmental and economical area of the country. “The reason of the foundation of Escolhas answers the reason of such scholarship program. Escolhas wants to raise data, information that may base the public discussion on the main decisions the country needs to make. For the themes of economy and environment, there is lack of good numbers and studies that may allow a wide discussion for solutions, supported on empiric evidences to find new ways”, he affirmed. With such third new class, the program already sums 17 scholarship students in total.


Selected Projects

PhD’s Degree

André Luiz Campos de Andrade

Among the PhD projects, the research of André Luiz Campos de Andrade, of University of Potsdam/Germany, approaches how the Brazilian government bodies participate in the climate governance in the promotion of policies that use the low-carbon energy matrix. The responsibilities of the climate change policy are generally assigned to the Ministries of Environment and/or Energy worldwide. His work adopts and approach of political economy, and shows how the alliances are established and what are the political and institutional restrictions that prevent the climate action from advancing in the priorities of development of Brazil, especially answering which has been the role of the center of governmental institutions in the formulation, coordination, and harmonization of low-carbon transition policies.

André, who could not attend the welcome meeting because he lives abroad, intends to structure his research at two times. The first will examine the political economy of the climate change using the concept of feedback of politics as an analytical structure, since there is the understanding that previous public policies may have political effects that remodel institutions and other policies in the future. But the second time of the research, the scholarship student intends to carry out an assessment of the government’s performance within the context of climate governance using the methodology created by the Federal Court of Auditors (TCU) and by the Organization for Economical Cooperation and Development (OCDE) to analyze the government’s efficiency adapted to the context of the climate policy. In summary, the scholarship student wants to understand the extent the climate governance is defined based on such history the climate policies generate.

Keyi Ando Ussami – foto Marçal

The forest transition in the state of São Paulo is the theme of Keyi Ando Ussami’s research, of Economical Research Institute – IPE/USP. His purpose is to assess the relationship between the variation in the deforestation and the forest recovery according to the institutional changes in the time interval between the 1960’s up to 2010. The thesis considers three analyses in different periods, being that the first of them refers to the effect of the construction of the hydroelectric power plants of large reservoirs (built in the state in the period between 1962 and 1971/1973) on the deforestation observed in the period. The second analysis will assess the effect of a set of environment preservation policies conducted from 1990 in an heterogeneous manner in Paulista territory. Such as, for example, the effect of the creation of the federal legislation of protection to Atlantic Rainforest combined with the actuation of Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica in 1990 on the process of deforestation/forest recovery of the state. Here, it is also included an analysis about the creation of a state legislation of preservation exclusively towards the Cerrado biome in 2009.

But the third analysis assesses the impact of the creation of the Environmental Protection Areas (APAs) on the preservation of the environment. The APAs are Preservation Units (UC) of Sustainable Use, being that their restrictions regarding the uses of the natural resources are the mildest among all UCs. It is applicable to remind that the maps of plant coverage in large areas only became popular from the use of satellite images that were made available from middle 1970’s, which indicates the relevance of the research.


Henrique dos Santos Maxir

Henrique dos Santos Maxir, master’s degree student of Economics of ESALQ-USP (Agriculture College “Luiz de Queiroz”), approaches the policies of fuels in Brazil, and the effects on the social well-being and the emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). The Brazilian fuel sector experienced changes in the last few years and for such reason, the scholarship student wants to investigate the co-existence of fossil fuels and biofuel markets in a developing country as Brazil. His hypothesis is based on a historical analysis pointing out that in middle 1970’s, the industry of biofuels, especially of ethanol obtained from the sugar cane, started to be structured as a result of the need of replacement of fossil fuels. In 1990, Petrobras’ monopoly in the oil industry was ruptured and the ethanol market was deregulated. In 2017, the government approved the National Policy of Biofuels (RenovaBio), a policy that aims at enhance the production of biofuels and contribute to the reduction of the emissions of GHG.

Henrique’s research assesses the effect of Petrobras’ policy about the well-being of consumers and the loss from the distortions of price in the economy. Additionally, it also approaches the impacts of RenovaBio Program on the social well-being, summed to the assessment of the potentiality of the reduction of the emissions. For such, he will develop an analysis about the Brazilian markets of fossil fuels and biofuels based on the current laws and policies of such sectors, structuring a Mathematical model.

Master’s Degree


Bruno Proença

In relation to the selected master’s degree students, Bruno Proença Pacheco Pimenta, also of Economical Research Instituter – IPE/USP, develops thesis on the climate changes and droughts in Brazil through integrated spatial analysis from Inter-regional Models of Computable General Balance (IEGC) and Climater Monitoring in Brazilian Semi-Arid Region. The scholarship student will assess the impact of the droughts on such region, as well as the population’s migration and well-being, focused on the social-economical and environmental vulnerability thereof. The proposal is to assess the impact of droughts for purposes of assisting the formulation of public policies of adaptation and mitigation, since the heating of the atmosphere resulting of the greatest concentration of greenhouse gases is causing an acceleration of the water cycle, which may make extreme events more frequent, such as droughts and floods.

In such type of model (IEGC) that will be adopted by the scholarship student, the economy is described as a system of equations, where the consumers aim at maximizing their well-being, producers intend to increase their profit, as well as the investors intend to increase their return and each of such players is subject to restrictions, being that each sector of economy is interconnected to others through purchases and sales. We know that climate changes do not occur in a homogeneous manner around the globe, so Bruno Pimenta’s work is relevant because he aims at understanding how an specific region will be potentially affected. In such case, the Semi-Arid region, which comprehends 86% of the inside of the Northeast territory and part of the North region of Minas Gerais, with its population of 23 million of people (Census 2017) also known as the dry region most densely populated in the world. In the future, this region that is already vulnerable, will be even more susceptible to several climate ills, but an increase of temperature may let the locations that suffer with water deficit even dryer and the short rain station may disappear, something that drastically affects the local economy.

Liz Matsunaga

The impacts of the disaster of Mariana/MG with the leakage of the mud of mining rejects in the cities of Rio Doce River is the theme of Liz Matsunaga’s research, also from IPE – USP. She intends to construct a more comprehensiveness program of the consequences of the rupture of the dam in 2015, analyzing the causal relationship between the disaster and increase of diseases related to the quality of the water, air, diseases caused by vectors and mental diseases; as well as to investigate if there was increase of the alcoholism and domestic violence in the cities directly affected by the accident, in the scope of mental/psychological diseases. For such, the researcher will quantify the social-economical impacts of the rupture of the dam on the populations that lived at the margins of the affected rivers.

The impact of reject carriage affected 663.2 km of water bodies, causing the destruction of 1,469 hectares over 77 km of water courses, including permanent preservation areas (IBAMA, 2015). 35 cities were directly affected, which house approximately 1.1 million people, 5.3% of the population contingent of Minas Gerais. The hypothesis is that sudden changes in the economical environment of communities may cause important changes in the fabric of society. The thesis will compare the treated and control groups, as well as before/after the rupture of Fundão dam, considering treated group the cities that are on the margin of the rivers on the route of the mud, and control group the cities that were not reached by the mud, having as base the geographic location, PIB, social-economical activities, and other characteristics.


Paulo Eduardo Braga

Finally, Paulo Eduardo Braga Pereira Filho, of Economics ESALQ-USP, measures the green jobs in Brazil in his thesis, through analysis of the Product Supply Matrix (MIP), theory that allows the identification of the interdependence of the productive activities regarding the supplies and products used and resulting of the production process, analyzing some scenarios of growth of such jobs. In other words, MIP describes the flow of goods and services between the sectors of an economy, during a period of time, which makes it possible to analyze the interconnection between the economy sectors. One of the advantages of using the supply-product analysis is that through it, it will be possible to estimate the multipliers of product and employment to each sector.

In an economical environment where everybody works to increase the environmental quality, reduce the energy efficiency, and protect the ecosystem, the jobs of such society may be characterized as green jobs. However, to design policies that influence in the development of economical sectors that are sustainable is a difficult task to all countries. But in the developing countries, such task is even more difficult due to the shortage of information and high informality in the employment market, as it is the Brazilian case. Measure the generation of such jobs during the process of construction of the economical growth is important to guide and advise the creation of sector policies. Paulo wants to identify the sectors with potential of generation of such green jobs; construct the green Supply Product Matrix, from MIP 2015, and estimate the growth of the green jobs to the future in his academic purposes.

The Chair

The Program of Scholarship of Escolhas Chair of Economy and Environment, released in 2016 and sponsored by Itaú, has as purpose to stimulate the formation of professionals that develop critical thought and research of excellence on the contemporary social-environmental matters, from the approach of the economical sciences and upon the concession of scholarship to master’s degree and PhD’s degree students with highlighted academic commitment. The notice of selection is public and the selection of those awarded is always made through a bench formed by invited professors and specialists.

PhD’s Degree

1 – André Luiz Campos de Andrade
Institution: University of Potsdam/Germany
Advisor: Harald Fuhr
Title of the Project: Climate governance: the role of the government center in the promotion of low-carbon transitions

2- Henrique dos Santos Maxir
Institution: Economics ESALQ-USP
Advisor: Mirian Rumenos Piedade Bacchi
Title of the Project: Policies of Fuels in Brazil: Effects on the social well-being and Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

3 – Keyi Ando Ussami
Institution: IPE – USP
Advisor: Ariaster Baumgratz Chimeli
Title of the Project: Forest transition and institutions: evidences of the last 50 years in the state of São Paulo

Master’s Degree

1- Bruno Proença Pacheco Pimenta
Institution: IPE – USP
Advisor: Eduardo Amaral Haddad
Title of the Project: Climate Changes and Droughts in Brazil: An Integrated Spatial Analysis from IEGC Models and Climate Monitoring in Brazilian Semi-Arid Region

2- Liz Matsunaga
Institution: IPE – USP
Advisor: Ariaster Baumgratz Chimeli
Title of the Project: Mud and Society: Impacts of the Disaster of Mariana (MG) on Cities of Rio Doce Basin

3- Paulo Eduardo Braga Pereira Filho
Institution: Economics ESALQ-USP
Advisor: Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho
Title of the Project: Measurement of the green jobs in Brazil: an analysis via supply product matrix


To learn more about the scholarship students, access the full playlist in Youtube

We wish you all success in your researches!

Desejamos sucesso a todos em suas pesquisas!