Fall 2014 - 62811 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Political Economy of Global Energy

This course will introduce students to the major theoretical frameworks commonly used to analyze the design and implementation of public policies related to energy issues, and the response of the energy industry to those policies. The course will focus on the application of these frameworks to specific cases studies. Theoretical frameworks discussed will include public choice; networks, monopoly and regulation; management of global commons; organizational behavior; technology and society; and economy and development. Among other topics, application case studies will include: geopolitics of oil and gas; ethanol subsidies; renewable portfolio standards; carbon capture and storage (CCS); international coal trade; international climate change negotiations; purchase of overseas energy resources; electricity regulation in developing countries; energy trade wars; and innovation systems in energy.

Roughly, one unit will cover one or two case studies. Each unit session will begin with a highlight of the theoretical frameworks relevant to the case study. In a discussion-oriented approach, the class will then analyze the outcomes in the case studies through the lens of those frameworks. Student participation in the discussions is required.

The course is intended for graduate students in Public Affairs and Energy and Earth Resources (EER). Interested students from Law, Engineering, or Business may also sign up for the course. Basic familiarity with energy technologies and concepts as well as basic understanding of economics would be helpful to the students.