ECN 437 Environmental and Resource Economics

Course Outline

The list of the topics to be covered in class this semester.

Fundamental Concepts

Key Characteristics of Environmental Problems
  • Externalities
  • Common Property
Evaluating Economic Outcomes
  • Individual Demand, Willingness to Pay and Marginal Benefits [web]
  • Individual Supply, Willingness to Accept and Marginal Costs [web]
  • Market Demand, Supply and Equilibrium
  • Consumer Surplus [web]
  • Producer Surplus [web]
  • Gains from Trade and Social Surplus
  • Pareto Efficiency [web]
  • Deadweight Loss
  • Distributional and Equity Considerations
  • Present Value [web]
  • Decision Trees
  • Expected Value [web]

Externalities, Pollution Control and Environmental Policy

Single Source
  • Marginal Social Surplus, MSS [web]
  • Marginal Social Cost, MSC
  • Negotiation and Coase
  • Strict Liability
  • Pigouvian Taxes
  • Quotas or Permits
  • Disposal Externalities and Recycling
  • Deposit-Refund Systems
  • Curbside Recycling
  • Take-Back Laws
  • Positive Externalities
  • Marginal Social Benefit, MSB [web]
  • Subsidies
Multiple Sources
  • Marginal Benefit and Marginal Cost of Abatement
  • Minimizing the Cost of Abatement across Sources [web]
  • Taxes and Subsidies
  • Quotas
  • Tradable Permits
  • Direct Regulation
  • Distributional Effects of Alternative Policies
  • Taxes and Permits Under Uncertainty [web]
  • Hybrid Policies
Measuring Environmental Benefits
  • Costs of Avoidance and Mitigation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Hedonic Pricing
  • Travel Cost Method
  • Option Demand
  • Existence Value
  • Contingent Valuation
  • Embedding Bias

Environmental Public Goods

  • Rival and Non-Rival Goods [web]
  • Exclusive Goods
  • Club Goods
  • Pure Public Goods
  • Congestible Goods [web]
  • The NIMBY Problem
  • Environmental Amenities
  • Irreversibility

Natural Resources

Exhaustible and Recyclable Resources
  • Marginal Extraction Cost (MEC)
  • Exploration
  • Grade Distribution Curve
  • USGS Classification System
  • Proven Reserves
  • What's Wrong with "Years of Supply"?
  • Effect of Prices
  • Effect of New Technology
  • Effect of Discoveries
  • Royalty
  • Hotelling's Theorem [web]
  • Efficient Allocation of a Fixed Stock
  • Equating the Present Value of MSS over Time
  • Arbitrage and Equating the Present Value of Royalties over Time
  • Efficiency of Resource Markets
  • Backstops
  • Exploration

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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 01/11/2016