ENVI 213 Fall 2012 Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resources Economics (Q)

Cross Listed as ECON213
Economists love free markets, but many people fear that market-driven economic growth and consumption are endangering the natural environment. In fact, core economic theories predict that people and firms, left to their own devices, will often tend to pollute too much, conserve too little, overfish common waters, and cut down too many trees. These predictions seem to be borne out by the world's environmental problems. Fortunately, economics offers tools to address these issues, and these tools are increasingly gaining attention in the policy world. In this course, we will survey environmental and natural resource economics, fields that work to inform policy with attention to both natural assets and human needs. We will focus on real-world problems, mostly from a microeconomic perspective. Underlying issues in these fields include: why markets might be inefficient where the environment and natural resources are concerned; whether and how to value the benefits we receive from the environment; and how to carefully evaluate policies. We will study the economists' perspective on sustainability and we'll discuss how sustainability, growth, and human wellbeing relate to each other. We will study the use of non-renewable resources (like oil) and renewable resources (like trees and fish), and we will spend some time talking about energy and energy policy. We will examine issues related to pollution, looking at traditional "command and control" regulations and at market-based pollution control policies. Climate change is a pressing global problem, and we will study current and proposed climate policies and the role economics can play. We may cover other topics, including international development, food, agriculture, and water.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: problem sets, short papers, a midterm, and a final exam
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Prerequisites: Economics 110
Enrollment Preference: preference to sophomores if course is overenrolled
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Quantitative and Formal Reasoning
Other Attributes: ENVI Environmental Policy,ENVP Political Economy Electives,MAST Interdepartmental Electives,POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
Enrollment Limit: 40
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 1415
ENVI213-01(F) LEC Intro to Envi & Nat'l Resource (Q) Division 2: Social StudiesQuantitative and Formal Reasoning Sarah A. Jacobson
MWF 11:00 AM-12:15 PM Griffin 7 1415
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