Spring 2018 - 60955 - PA 393L – Advanced Policy Economics
Environmental and Resource Economics and Policy
This course provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of issues regarding the use and management of natural resources. It covers both general methodological principles and specific applications. We will begin with an introduction to the principles of environmental and natural resource economics, reviewing the basic concept of economic efficiency and the conditions under which markets can and cannot be expected to result in efficient natural resource management. We will also study the methods economists use to estimate the demand for environmental and natural resource amenities, and the costs of preserving them. Then we will apply these concepts, beginning with models of efficient extraction of non-renewable resources (like oil and minerals), and moving on to the economics of pollution control and the economics of climate change. We will also cover many applications of economics to renewable resource management, including water resources, fisheries, and forests. The course will conclude with discussions of potential conflicts and complementarity between economic growth and environmental sustainability. Course requirements will include four written assignments (some problems, and some writing), as well as midterm and final exams.