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Course Description

This course examines the implications of economic growth on the quality of the environment employing the basic principles of economic analysis.

Note: This course may be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:


  • Writing: Students are required to write at least one short commentary on one of several statements/claims about Environmental Economics and Policy listed in the course outline. The grade for the commentary will be based on the application of basic micro economic tools, understanding of the topic chosen, a reasoned conclusion and competency in writing structure and grammar.
  • Numerical: Simple linear equations are used to express functional relationships between, for example, environmental damages and emission levels. Students will learn how to develop these and utilize them in simple optimization problems.
  • Analytical: The application of basic micro economic theory and several extensions of the theory are used to examine the effectiveness of alternative public policies to limit emissions and damages from pollution. The damages from pollution and the policies to control pollution impact the distribution of income and wealth in society. Students will learn how to apply analytical tools to examine the trade-off between efficient policies and income distribution.


  1. Environmental Models and Concepts:
  • Although this course is at a second year level, it is an introduction to environmental economics and as such, students will learn new concepts and tools to analyze a wide range of pollution issues such as recycling, water pollution, air pollution and climate change. The student will learn to develop graphically and algebraically, the marginal environmental damage function and marginal abatement cost function which are important concepts employed to examine pollution control policies. The critical role that present value calculations play in deciding which policies to implement will also be developed along with an understanding of what is meant by inter-generational equity. Students will be exposed to the idea of risk and uncertainty and how these apply to situations where there may be catastrophic environmental damages.


  • Environmental economics is grounded in the concept of market failure and while this is explored to some degree in introductory economics, students will be required to compare and contrast market functions in perfect competition and markets for clean air and water. A solid grasp of why the equivalence of private costs and private benefits is not necessarily an indicator of efficiency is expected.


  • Students will learn how the regulatory framework that is needed to implement pollution control policies works and when it does not work. In the case of international pollution control, the course examines both successful and unsuccessful regulatory prescriptions to limit pollution on a global scale.

Course Topics

  • Concepts and Overview
  • Economic Growth and Environment: What the Data Shows
  • Explaining the Data: the PPB Model
  • Optimal Pollution: Analytical Tools; Market Interpretation Applications
  • Basic Policy Analysis
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Legal and Regulatory Instruments
  • Economic Instruments (Permits and Taxes)
  • Trends in Resource Stocks and Food Production
  • The Economics of Sustainable Development
  • A Test Case: Biodiversity
  • Review

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): ECON*1050 or FARE*1040


Assessment Item


Assignment 1


Assignment 2


Assignment 3




Online Final Exam




Note that you must receive at least 50% on the final exam to pass this course. Your term work will only be included in calculating your final grade if you pass the final exam. If you receive less than 50% on the final exam, your final grade will be your final exam percentage.


Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use McGraw-Hill Connect. Connect is a digital learning environment administered by McGraw-Hill Education. Visit their website to complete a check that ensures your computer meets the Connect system requirements.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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