Spring 2008 Course Description

Advanced Policy Economics

Section Title: Environmental Economic Policy in the US and South Asia
Instructor(s): Shama Gamkhar
Course: P A 393L - Advanced Policy Economics
(previously Political Economy II)
Unique Number: 64435
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.106
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This course seeks to develop student capabilities for analysis and decision-making in the area of environmental economic policy. The course will also provide a comparative perspective on environmental policies in the US and in South Asia. The focus in this course will be on air quality at the local, regional and global levels. The global issues will focus primarily on climate change and will include both a discussion of international agreements and comparative climate change policy in the US, Europe and South Asia. The course format will primarily be a combination of lectures, discussions, case studies, research papers and some problem sets. Students are expected to have taken an introductory or intermediate level course in microeconomics.

The first half of the course will examine the theoretical effectiveness of various regulatory instruments (command and control methods, marketable emission permits, environmental taxes and subsidies) in realizing the goals of environmental policy. Additionally, we will examine techniques for measuring costs and benefits of environmental improvement and the role of these costs and benefits in making assessment of environmental risks and in the setting of environmental standards.

In the second half of the course we will discuss the development of environmental regulation in the United States. In the U.S. we will focus on the use of market based regulatory instruments, such as emission trading programs, in controlling pollution problems. The strengths and limitations of emission trading programs will also be examined in the context of carbon trading program in Europe and their role in U.S. state policies towards the environment. In South Asia we will discuss the globalization of local pollution problems and the implications of climate change and policies to address this problem in South Asia. Other topics of environmental policy may be added on the basis of student interests.

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