Eric Kemp-Benedict

Senior Scientist


Somerville, MA
erickb@sei-us.org
skype: ekempbenedict
+1 (617) 627-3786 x9#

Eric Kemp-Benedict is a senior scientist at SEI-US in Somerville, MA. He is a co-leader of the SEI Initiative on the Water, Energy and Food Nexus.

His research focuses on economic analysis for sustainable consumption and production. From the time Eric joined SEI in 1997, he has contributed to studies on diverse topics of relevance to sustainability at national, regional, and global levels, including on poverty and income distribution; social dynamics; water, livestock, and land use; and rural livelihoods. He has also actively developed and applied tools and methods for participatory and study-specific sustainability analyses.

Eric led SEI's Rethinking Development theme during 2011 and 2012, and from February 2013 until February 2016 he was director of SEI's Asia Centre. As director, he was responsible for research, administrative and financial leadership. He was also part of SEI's international management and helped coordinate the Asia Centre's interactions with headquarters and with SEI colleagues worldwide.

He has a B.S. in physics from the University of Texas in Austin and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Boston University in 1997, as well as an MAT in secondary physics education.


Recent Publications by Eric Kemp-Benedict

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Dynamic Stability of Post-Keynesian Pricing

The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics 17(2), online 24 February 2017

Author(s): Kemp-Benedict, E.
Year: 2017

Research Area(s): Sustainable Futures

Description:

Conventional economic theory assumes a Walrasian pricing mechanism that is known to pose theoretical difficulties. Less well-known is that conventional price theory conflicts with empirical studies of price-setting in industrial firms. Post-Keynesian theory, which assumes mark-up pricing on normal costs and infrequent price changes, is consistent with observation.

This paper shows that post-Keynesian pricing, unlike conventional pricing, features stable dynamics. The analysis focus on the short run, because post-Keynesian theory posits complex and historically contingent long-term price dynamics. Specifically, the paper shows that under very general conditions, prices converge to a unique equilibrium price vector.


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The SEI Initiative on the Water, Energy and Food Nexus

SEI fact sheet

Author(s): Huber-Lee, A. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Gill, T.
Year: 2015

Research Area(s): Water Resources ; Energy Modeling

Description: The new SEI Initiative on the Water, Energy and Food Nexus investigates cross sector links between water, energy, and food to support those who govern and manage these systems to work together to meet human aspirations sustainably. Resource scarcity and climate change pose formidable challenges, and robust evidence-based methodologies built on the nexus framework and applied jointly with stakeholders can be valuable tools in efforts to meet them. The initiative will apply analytical tools and analysis in a set of case studies to be of real use to decision-makers and managers in the areas of water, energy, food production and ecosystems.
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Testing a multi-scale scenario approach for smallholder tree plantations in Indonesia and Vietnam

Technological Forecasting and Social Change 80(4), 762-771

Author(s): Dermawana, A. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Huber-Lee, A. ; Fencl, A.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Sustainable Futures

Description: This article presents a participatory method for constructing cross-scale scenario logics, which applies when different locales are embedded within a common higher-level scenario. Smallholder tree plantations are seen as promising routes to alleviating poverty and increasing forest area among the countries in Southeast Asia. However, implementation has been disappointing, which led scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) to consider a scenario exercise as a way to mitigate the risk of unwanted outcomes. The authors chose an explicitly multi-scale approach, and applied the method during two scenario workshops held to explore the use of smallholder tree plantations in efforts to improve rural livelihoods; each workshop considered two different localities. From these experiences, they discuss and critique the method.
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Social Ecology of Domestic Water Use in Bangalore

Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLVIII No. 15, April 13, 2013, Special Article, 40-50

Author(s): Mehta, V. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Goswami, R.; Muddu, S.; Malghan, D.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This paper develops a metabolic framework for domestic water use in Bangalore, one of the fastest-growing urban agglomerations in India. The rapid growth of urban India has added new saliency to the resource conflict between the burgeoning cities and village India that continues to be the home for vast majority of Indians. Cities, like living organisms, depend on external metabolic flows to keep them alive. Among all the metabolic flows of matter and energy none is more important than water – especially water used for meeting basic drinking water and other domestic consumption needs. Our urban metabolism framework treats Bangalore as a tightly coupled social-ecological system and shows that a spatially explicit understanding of consumption patterns is crucial to addressing three central aspects of the water conundrum – equity, ecological sustainability and economic efficiency.
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International Trade and Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Could Shifting the Location of Production Bring GHG benefits?

SEI and 3C Project Report

Author(s): Erickson, P. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Lazarus, M. ; van Asselt, H.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Climate Mitigation Policy

Description: This report examines the potential for trade to shift production to the lowest-emission locations and thus reduce overall emissions, and explores the viability of policy approaches to spur such a shift. It looks at the relative average GHG intensity of production of selected goods in different world regions and the potential for regions to access low-GHG fuels and feedstocks needed to expand low-GHG production. This simplified approach allows us to gauge what conditions might enable countries to be future low-GHG producers. The report begins by looking at the emissions embodied in trade, based on a multiregional input-output model, to help identify significant trade flows for further analysis. It then examines differences in GHG-intensity among regions for some of the categories identified, and asks whether and how shifting the location of steel production could reduce global GHGs. The final sections assess a range of national and international policies that could be used to shift trade patterns, summarize the results and identify areas for further research.
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