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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Economics of Environmental Policy

Course Code:
P521
Unit value:

This module provides a theoretically rigorous coverage of the economic concepts and principles of environmental policy. It provides the knowledge and analytical tools needed to design and evaluate public policies towards the environment. It covers externalities such as pollution and public goods, exploitation of natural resources, trade and sustainable development.

The module covers the theory underlying the different policy strategies and at how these strategies work in practice. Examples of existing policies are used to illustrate the difficulties of applying the theory in practice. Many of these examples are taken from the United States or the European Union but students should apply the analyses to environmental problems and policies implemented in other countries. The module draws on a number of examples from the rural and agricultural sectors, but the theory applies to environmental problems and policies in general.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  • To understand the main interactions between the environment and the economy and the physical constraints that place limits on the interaction.
  • To apply specific methodologies so that solutions to environmental problems can be identified and implemented.
  • To use the knowledge acquired to be able to effectively evaluate environmental policy that is already in practice.
  • To understand the divergence between policy design in principle and the practical reality.