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Environmental Economics

Environmental economics studies how economic activity and policy may affect the environment in which we live.

This course provides students with theoretical and methodological tools that allow them to apply principles of economics to study how natural resources are (or should be) evaluated and managed.

Contemporary environmental problems, such as climate change, sustainable development and transboundary pollution are discussed in light of the concepts introduced in the first part of the course.


learned to work with people from different cultures and ways of thinking. It opened my mind.


Manfredi Randazzo (Italy)

Key Facts

Level: Intermediate

Fees: Please see fees page

Teaching: 60 hours

Expected independent study: 90 hours

Optional assessment: Dependant on course

Typical credit: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)*
* Please check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, please see our Teaching and assessment page

Lecturers

Syllabus

The core topics in the syllabus will typically include:

  • Introduction to the key concepts from environmental economics: markets; market failures; government regulation; Cost Benefit Analysis; the environment as a social asset
  • Strategic interactions: Coase Theorem; Tragedy of the Commons; Transactions costs and institutions
  • Valuing the environment: Welfare economics; efficiency and optimality in allocation; approaches to environmental evaluation; environmental ethics; sustainable development
  • Environmental policy instruments and implementation: common and control policies in different areas e.g. water; policy design and implementation; biodiversity; trade
  • Applications: deforestation; tropical deforestation and poverty; preservation and conservation; climate change; carbon trading; international co-operation; Kyoto Protocol

Course Aims

Environmental economics studies how economic activity and policy may affect the environment in which we live. This course provides students with theoretical and methodological tools that allow them to apply principles of economics to study how natural resources are (or should be) evaluated and managed. Contemporary environmental problems, such as climate change, sustainable development and transboundary pollution are discussed in light of the concepts introduced in the first part of the course.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-Specific/Professional Skills:

  • demonstrate an ability to research relevant topics, including using the library and internet as information sources.
  • communicate their knowledge and understanding to others, verbally and in writing.
  • review the literature within environmental economics and be able to apply it accordingly.
  • understand the interdisciplinary nature of environmental economics.

Subject knowledge and understanding:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the main tools used to value environmental goods and services.
  • use economic arguments to discuss environmental policy proposals.
  • apply fundamental concepts such as market failure, household behaviour, transaction costs and willingness to pay to the study of environmental economics.
  • understand key concepts used by environmental economists and political scientists and how they can be applied to policy.

Cognitive Skills:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the importance of critical thinking and problem solving when approaching environmental problems.
  • think creatively to develop policy solutions for the environment.

Course Assessment

For this course, there will be 4 hours of teaching on most weekdays, comprised of lectures and small group seminars. The structure will be:

  • 3 hours of lectures
  • A 1 hour seminar in small groups

Students will also be given time each day for independent study. Towards the end of the third week, students will also be provided with time for revision.

Course Assessment

The module will be assessed a written piece of coursework submitted in Week 3. It should be noted that the assessment is not compulsory. Everyone who completes the course – whether or not they submit the assessment - will receive a certificate of attendance. However, by submitting the assessment you will also receive a grade/mark for the course which can be helpful to you.

Reading list to be confirmed

Entry Requirements

This course is open to students who are studying or have previously studied Economics or Mathematics at University level. You should attach your most recent transcript or provide a screenshot of your modules from your student portal as evidence when you apply. Students should also meet our standard entry requirements and must be aged 18 or over by the time the Summer School commences and have a good understanding of the English language.

Please note changes to the syllabus and teaching team may be made over the coming months before exact set of topics are finalised.


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