Economics of Environment and Development

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

This course introduces students to economic perspectives on environmental and development issues.

The course covers various macro and microeconomic issues as well as economics of climate change. The macroeconomic topics covered in the lectures includes the relationship of the environment to growth and trade, sustainable economic development and the so-called "resource curse".

On the micro side, we will critically investigate the theory and application of environmental policy, environmental governance and institution as well as valuation/commodification of nature. Then, the applicability of traditional economic analysis to economics of climate change is discussed including global inequality as well as the thorny issue of intergenerational equity, that is, how to find the balance between the well-being of future and current generations when deciding how to act on climate change. Lastly, we will also critically address the failure of international agreements such as Kyoto protocol to make any significant strides towards halting climate change.

Objectives and learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply core economic theory and economic understanding to applied environmental issues.
  • Show critical understanding of a wide variety of analytical methods with economic theories and models.
  • Select and apply appropriate economic techniques to solve environmental problems.

Method of assessment

AS1 - 10% / AS2 - 90%

Suggested reading

Background Readings

The course will draw from a number of texts in environmental and resource economics, as well as development economics. These include:

Baland, J.M., and J.P. Platteau (1996 or 2006). Halting Degradation of Natural Resources. FAO

and Oxford University Press.

Barbier E (2006). Natural Resources and Economic Development. Cambridge University Press.

Barbier E (2011) Capitalising on Nature Ecosystems as Natural assets, CUPS

Baumol W and Oates W (1988). The Theory of Environmental Policy. Cambridge University

Cambridge University Press

Grubb M et al (2014) Planetary EconomicsEnergyClimate and the Three Domains of Sustainable Development, Routledge/Taylor and Francis

Initiative for Policy Dialogue Series. Oxford University Press.

Jamieson, 2014, Reason in a Dark Time, OUP

Lopez R and Toman M (2006). Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability. The

Ostrom E. (1990) Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action.

Press, Cambridge.

Raworth K (2017) Doughnut economics, Chelsea Green Publishing

Schumacher E F (1973) Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, Harper Perennial


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.