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ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Program

Updated A.Y. 2018-2019

Instructors:
Prof. Timo Goeschl
Prof. Mariangela Zoli


Course Content

The course has three components that work individually and together.
The first block introduce the field, methods, and concepts of Environmental Economics. Environmental problems are problems of economic externalities. These externalities give rise to inefficiencies such as undesirable negative health effects, decreases in productivity, and other forms of welfare loss. Many of these inefficiencies could be avoided through the consistent application of the principles of microeconomics and welfare economics. These principles explain the economic drivers of environmental damages, help determine desirable policy outcomes, and assist in the design and implementation of environmental policy instruments. This course offers the tools and concepts for thinking conceptually and analytically about the welfare economics of environmental pollution at a graduate level.

The second block introduces experimental economics as a method, discusses the game forms of greatest importance to environmental economists (public good game, common-property extraction game) and their core findings, and examines three uses of experimental methods in environmental economics: Theory-testing, test-bedding, and the valuation of non-market goods.

The third part of the course addresses some specific topics in environmental and natural resource economics. In a world where human pressure and economic activities stress the environment by exploiting fisheries, forests, minerals, energy sources, and other environmental resources, it is increasingly important to study how economic tools can be used to develop sustainable environmental approaches and policies.


Schedule

1 Introduction to Environmental Economics: the topics, concepts, and theoretical framework [P&R 1,2]
2 Fundamental issues: Damages, Externalities & Instruments [P&R  3]
3 Regulation under Imperfect Information [P&R 4]
4 Cap and Trade [P&R 8]
5 Non-point Source Pollution [P&R 9]
6 The Experimental Paradigm: Concepts and Methods
7 Key Game Forms and Core Results for the Environmental Economist
8 Experiments for Theory Testing in Environmental Economics
9 Experiments for Test-Bedding Environmental Policies
10 Experiments in Non-Market Valuation
11 International environmental problems
12 Climate change
13 Exhaustible resources
14 Energy
15  Renewable resources
16 Waste as externality
17 Waste management policies
18 Environmental crime


Readings

- Phaneuf, D. and T. Requate (2017): A Course in Environmental Economics. Theory, Policy, and Practice. Cambridge University Press [P&R]

- Normann, Hans-Theo, und Roberto Ricciuti. 2009. „Laboratory experiments for economic policy making“. Journal of Economic Surveys 23 (3): 407–32.

- Greenstone, M., & Gayer, T. (2009). Quasi-experimental and experimental approaches to environmental economics. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 57(1), 21-44.

- Perman, R. et al. (2011), “Natural resource and environmental economics”, Fourth Edition, Pearson;

Further readings (slides, reports and journal articles) will be available on the course website.