Environmental Policy and Economics

Number of ECTS: 6   Price: 720 €
Teaching Language: English Place: Building J
Bellaterra Campus, 08193 Bellaterra

Teaching Period: 17 July to 4 August

Contact: summer@uab.cat

Teacher: Pere Riera

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Contents overview

This course will deal with the economics approach to environmental policy. It will explore first the economic activity under ideal conditions. Next, different departures from the ideal model will be studied, with emphasis on environmental externalities and the provision of environmental public goods. Different economic-based policy options will be presented and discussed both in theory and with case studies and examples in different environmental areas. The attention will then shift toward obtaining empirical estimates for those instruments. The evaluation of policies will make emphasis on efficiency and equity criteria. Additional specific issues will occupy the final part of the course.

The course will combine theory and case studies, and will provide some field visits of interest. The subject can be followed by students without an economics or an environmental background, even though the level of teaching would be the standard of an intermediate undergraduate course. Students are encouraged to actively participate in class.

At the end of the course, students should be able to critically examine environmental regulations and proposals from a social welfare perspective.

1. Introduction.
2. Welfare economics.
3. Environmental externalities and public goods.
4. Policy instruments.
5. Valuation and the environment.
6. Evaluation and the environment.
7. Equity and the environment.
8. Additional environmental issues.
9. Conclusions.

Teaching / learning activities

  • Short assignments.
  • Case studies.
  • Field visits.
The evaluation will be based on short daily assignments reflecting the class contents. Alternatively, students can obtain their mark in a written closed book final exam, to take place four days before the end of the course.

Links and references
Class Notes will be provided for students to better follow the class contents.
Additional readings for specific topics will be referenced in the Class Notes.
All the required materials will be facilitated in class.

Some basic useful references are:
Kolstad, Charles (2010) Environmental Economics.Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2nd ed.
Pere Riera, Dolores Garcia, Bengt Kriström, Runar Brännlund (2016) Manual de economía ambiental y de los recursos naturales. Madrid: Grupo Paraninfo. 3rd ed. (electronic version authomatically translated into English).
Environmental terminology in English, Catalan, Spanish and French (Diccionari de les Ciències Ambientals).