Intro to Environmental Economics and Policy

Econ 2277.01, Boston College

Prof. Richard Sweeney

Overview

This course provides an introduction to the economics of environmental policy. We begin by examining market failures from externalities and public goods. We then discuss public policy options to correct these failures, and develop tools to assess the costs and benefits of each approach. With this framework in place, the remainder of the course is spent evaluating specific environmental policies past and present. In addition to discussing local air pollution, water policy, conservation and natural resource management, we will spend a considerable amount of time discussing global climate change.

For additional details and course policies, see the syllabus.

A schedule of topics covered and assignment dates is provided in the course calendar.


Detailed outline of topics


Intro

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

Fullerton & Stavins [link]


Efficiency

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

KO CH 1-2


Benefits

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

KO pages 44-55
BH Ch 6


Costs

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

KO pages 35-44
Porter (1991) [link]
RFF Blog [link]
Dechezleprêtre and Sato (2017) [link]


Benefit-Cost Analysis

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO pp 55-68
Mercury Rule Case Study


Nonrenewable Resources

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO 6


Sustainability

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO 11


Renewable Resources - Fisheries

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO 7


Market Failure

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO Ch 4-5


The Coase Theorem

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

NY Times - Cheshire Transaction [link]


Cost Effectiveness

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

KO Ch 5, 9, 10


Policy Uncertainty

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

KO ch 10


Policy Design Summary

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings



Lessons from the Acid Rain Program

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings

Schmalensee and Stavins (JEP 2013) [link]


Climate Change

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

Stavins 2013
IPCC Special Report [link]
US 4th National Assessment [link]


Climate Change Part II - SCC

Slides
Markdown

Key Points

Readings

Stavins 2013
IPCC Special Report [link]
US 4th National Assessment [link]


Climate Change Part III - International

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings



Climate Change Part IV - Domestic

Slides (.pdf)

Key Points

Readings