Environmental Economics

Module description

This module will introduce students to the fundamental insights and methods of environmental and resource economics. The module will explore a wide-range of environmental problems including  pollution, waste, climate change, over-fishing and the depletion of natural resource stocks. In each case, students will learn about the economic drivers of the environmentally damaging behaviour. Moreover, students will be shown how those insights can be used to suggest solutions to environmental problems based on the adoption of policies or treaties crafted with the careful application of economic reasoning.

Full module specification

Module title:Environmental Economics
Module code:BEE2034
Module level:2
Academic year:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Brett Day - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:

7.5

Pre-requisites:

BEE1030 and BEE1031 or BEE1036 and BEE1037

Co-requisites:

None

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

11

Module aims

  • Provide students with the microeconomic tools needed to analyse fundamental contemporary questions concerning environmental economics.
  • Help students to understand contemporary issues in environmental economics and public policy concerning industrial pollution, climate change and resource extraction.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. recognise the ways in which individual decisions, market forces and government policies can affect the natural environment.
  • 2. engage with the core debates in social choice theory and assess their relevance to the design of environmental policy
  • 3. design and evaluate public policies for the regulation of environmental pollution and natural resource depletion
  • 4. use game theory to analyse international pollution problems and assess the merits of treaties designed to address them
  • 5. apply the techniques of social cost-benefit analysis, including those of non-market valuation, to the appraisal of projects and policies.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. interpret relevant data and empirical findings
  • 7. assess appropriate policies for various economic and social problems

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. demonstrate awareness of the role of numerical evidence in economics
  • 9. conduct a critical assessment of policy debates, theoretical models and empirical evidence
  • 10. demonstrate written communication skill

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
271230

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours22Lectures
Contact hours5Tutorials
Guided independent study123Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial questionsIn-class1-9in class feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
30700

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay302000 words1-10Individual feedback
Final exam702 hours1-0Indicative solutions on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (2000 words) 30%2000 word essay (30%)1-10August examination period
Final exam (2 hours) 70%2 hour exam (70%)1-10August examination period

Syllabus plan

  • Social Choice Theory
  • Markets, Property Rights and Market Failure
  • Regulation of Environmental Pollution
  • Global Environmental Issues and Climate Change
  • Measuring Environmental Costs and Benefits
  • Economic Growth and Environmental Quality
  • Optimal Resource Extraction

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Perman, R. et al. (2011), Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Addison Wesley; 4 edition.

Kolstad, C.D. (2011): Environmental Economics. 2nd edition. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

A full reading list will be available on the module’s ELE page. Examples of relevant papers include:

Oosterhuis, F., Papyrakis, E. and Boteler, B., (2014). Economic instruments and marine litter control. Ocean & Coastal Management, 102, pp.47-54.

Bateman, I.J., Harwood, A.R., Mace, G.M., Watson, R.T., Abson, D.J., Andrews, B., Binner, A., Crowe, A., Day, B.H., Dugdale, S. and Fezzi, C., (2013). Bringing ecosystem services into economic decision-making: land use in the United Kingdom. Science, 341(6141), pp.45-50.

Sandler, T., (2017). Environmental cooperation: contrasting international environmental agreements. Oxford Economic Papers, 69(2), pp.345-364.

Miller, S.J. and Deacon, R.T., (2017). Protecting marine ecosystems: Regulation versus market incentives. Marine Resource Economics, 32(1), pp.83-107.

Sioshansi, F. and Webb, J., (2019). Transitioning from conventional to electric vehicles: The effect of cost and environmental drivers on peak oil demand. Economic Analysis and Policy, 61, pp.7-15.

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Origin date

09/02/2018

Last revision date

08/01/2019