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Unit information: Environmental Economics in 2018/19

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Unit name Environmental Economics
Unit code EFIM30004
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Stephan Heblich
Open unit status Not open

Intermediate Economics 1 (EFIM20008) and either Econometrics (EFIM20011) or Applied Quantitative Research Methods (EFIM20010)



School/department School of Economics
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Environmental concern has become increasingly prominent as a matter for public debate and policy. Sustainable development, pollution, climate change and the exploitation of renewable and non-renewable resources are fundamentally resource allocation problems on which economics has much to say. This unit will address these real world environmental problems by building on microeconomic theory and quantitative methods from the first and second year.

The unit aims are:

  • To introduce you to some of the major concerns of environmental economics such as pollution, sustainable development, destruction of biodiversity, and global warming.
  • To apply and develop tools and economic concepts introduced in the core economics units to appreciate and analyse issues related to the environment, in both national and international contexts.
  • To introduce dynamic models to analyse the economics of renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • To introduce valuation methods for environmental goods for which no market exists.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should have a good understanding of modern environmental economics and should be able to:

  • Explain the contributions that economics can make to the analysis of environmental problems.
  • Explain and evaluate different policy approaches to environmental issues such as pollution and the depletion of natural resources.
  • Review and discuss critically the ways in which economists value the environment.
  • Intelligently apply the economic tools and methods learnt to various environmental issues.
  • Show an awareness of the important literature in this area and a knowledge of some major concerns in environmental economics.

Teaching details

18 one hour lectures and 8 one hour classes in which students read journal articles and make presentations.

This pattern of teaching may be changed slightly to accommodate the Easter Vacation.

Assessment Details

Unseen 3 hour exam (100%) in May/June which assesses all learning outcomes through a series of essays. Students answer 3 essays in total.

Formative Assessment (one essay of 1500 words or the equivalent) and one problem-solving exercise which are also designed to test the learning outcomes set above and to provide practice for the summative examination.

Reading and References

  • Perman, R., Y. Ma, M.Common, D. Maddison and J. McGilvray (2011). Natural Resource and Environmental Economics. 4th Edition. Addison-Wesley
  • Hanley, Nick, Jason F. Shogren and Ben White (2007). Environmental Economics in Theory and Practice 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan: UK. (course text)
  • Teitenberg, Tom (2007). Environmental Economics and Policy 5th ed. Pearson: MA.