Environmental Economics




Course Objectives:

1.To apply microeconomic theory to the study of environmental issues.

2.To identify and critically evaluate alternative environmental policy instruments.

3.To measure costs and benefits of non-market goods.

4.To develop written and verbal skills in communicating an environmental economic perspective.

Course Summary

This class will focus on the role of economics in addressing and providing solutions to environmental issues. It will make use of microeconomic and statistical analysis at the intermediate level and will incorporate real-world examples.

The class will be divided into four parts.

Part I will cover the ways in which markets fail to efficiently allocate resources in the presence of externalities (e.g. pollution) along with the policies to correct market failures.

Part II will focus on the empirical techniques used by economists to put values on the services provided by the environment, which don’t normally have prices. Both revealed preference and stated preference methods and applications will be examined.

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Part III concentrates on climate change, one of the defining challenges of our time. The lectures will cover not only the causes and consequences of global warming but also the polices that may be adopted to curb greenhouse gas emissions and promote adaptation and mitigation, both internationally and locally.

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Part IV will introduce the topic of protected areas as a means to achieve conservation and sustainable development. We will invite practitioners from government agencies or industry and researchers to give guest lectures related to our course, e.g. on management issues of local marine areas and natural parks, adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture.