Environmental Economics
Spring 2004 GMU Syllabus

Economics 335, meets TT, 1:30-2:45pm, during Spring 2004, in room Enterprise 174.

Instructor: Robin D. Hanson, Asst. Professor, Economics (rhanson@gmu.edu, http://robinhanson.com)
Office Hours: Officially TT 10:30-12:00am. But I'm usually in at 10b Carow Hall. Call ahead (703-993-2326) if you want to be sure.

Catalog Entry:

Econ 335 Environmental Economics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ECON 103 and 104. Microeconomic analysis of environmental problems. Topics include an analysis of externali ties and market failure, alternative solutions and policies, problems in monitoring and enforcement, economic analysis of the development of legislation and regulation, and applications to current policy issues.
Recommended Texts: (None are required.)
Eban S. Goodstein, Economics and the Environment, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2005, ISBN 0471470546, Sample Price $78. (Supposedly this text becomes available January 23.)
Scott J. Callan, Janet M. Thomas, Environmental Economics & Management, Third Edition, South-Western College Pub, 2004, ISBN 0324171811, Sample Price $103.
Tom Tietenberg, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Sixth edition, Addison-Wesley, 2003, ISBN 020177027X, Sample Price $80.
Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist Measuring the Real State of the World, Harvard University Press, 2001, ISBN 0521010683 Sample Price $17.
Goal of Class
To become familiar with basic facts and issues in environmental economics, and to be able to make an economically-coherent defense of one's opinions on environmental questions.
Assignments: Defended Opinion Topics
  1. Should we replace government can and bottle recycling programs with higher taxes or tradeable permits on sources and sinks (i.e., mines and landfills?)
  2. Should nations get CO2 credits for seeding oceans with iron?
  3. You may choose the last topic.
Due Dates: Grade Weights: Class Participate 5%, 13% per Quiz, 13% per Defended Opinions, 17% final.

WeekLecture Topic
20 Jan Introduction & Econ Review
27 Jan Externalities & Public Goods
3 Feb Mechanisms to Mitigate Externalities
10 Feb More Mechanisms
17 Feb Efficiency, Ethics, & Politics
24 Feb More Efficiency, Ethics, & Politics
2 Mar Human Life & Health
9 Mar Spring Break
16 Mar Food, Energy, Space
23 Mar Air & Water
30 Mar Global Warming
6 Apr Forestation & Biodiversity
13 Apr Human Population
20 Apr Transhumans
27 Apr Review & Slack

Misc Links

Guess Lecture on RECLAIM pollution trading

US EPA National Center for Environmental Economics

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

NBER papers on Environmental Economics

Rant by Michael Chrichton