The Relevance of Economic Models to Space Debris Policy

1 December 2020

Webinar - Maryland University


On 1st December 2020, the SDA Bocconi School of Management-SEE Lab, the Secure World Foundation, and the Space Policy Institute, George Washington University co-sponsored a half-day workshop as part of the University of Maryland’s CODER 2020 Symposium. This workshop assessed the relevancy of current economics based approaches to address the potential challenges posed by debris in outer space and in particular the low Earth orbit (LEO) environment.

  • Can the operations of a free market with pricing signals stimulate and encourage the formation of effective solutions to the space debris challenge?
  • If a market-based solution or partial solution can be proven theoretically, when can we expect to see a funded initiative emerge that can succeed without a dedicated government subsidy?


Please find the agenda of the workshop


The SEE Lab and IFAC-CNR (National Research Council of Italy) had the pleasure to present their research project regarding the ECONOMIC THEORY APPLIED TO SPACE DEBRIS SCENARIOS.

The research project was based on:

  • The parallel with the climate change.
  • Research outline: level of attractiveness model, cost-benefits analysis, evolutionary model
  • Evolutionary model: simulations of 5 mitigation measures on the growth of the objects and the collision risks in LEO.
  • Consideration on: collision risks in the long term, the role of private and public actors, the role of international cooperation and the free riders problems.

SEE Lab presentation