Economics 480

Environmental Economics

Spring 2007
TR 10:50-12:05 BB 116


Peter Mieszkowski - Baker 270
(713) 348 - 3453
Office Hours: TR or By Appointment

Links to: Supplemental Notes | Possible Paper Topics | Course Outline | Readings| Review

Course Prerequisites

Econ 211 (minimum), Econ 370 (ideally) or permission. Basic concepts used in the course include indifference curves; production theory inclusive of isoquants, marginal productivity theory of distribution and economic efficiency – the importance of marginal cost pricing and the conditions for efficiency in production. Readings on these topics can be obtained from the instructor.

Students with Disabilities

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with their instructor during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact Disabled Student Services in the Ley Student Center.


Mid-term exam*, Thursday, March 1st 7:00-9:00 30%
Final exam, partially comprehensive 40%
Term paper, 15 pages or more 30%
*Students may take the Mid-term Exam before the scheduled time but not after.

A term paper 15 pages or more. Suggested list of topics available will be
provided. The term paper must be handed in by 7:00 PM, Friday, April 27th. The penalty for late papers is a grade a day, (i.e., an A paper handed in one day late becomes a B and so forth. All direct and indirect quotations from other sources should be properly acknowledged. Electronic versions of paper are acceptable but hard copies are preferred.

Students should address questions on exams directly. If specific questions are not answered no credit will be given for unrelated responses.


Kolstad, Charles, Environmental Economics (Textbook for course, at bookstore) (K henceforth)

Scott, Callan and Thomas, Janet, Environmental Economics and Management, 4th edition (on reserve, C henceforth). This supplement text is strong on descriptive and institutional material. Students might consider buying this book. The 3rd edition is a close substitute for the 4th edition. Some of the material in this text will be summarized in supplemental notes posted on the webpage.

Reference Books (on reserve)

Tietenberg, Tom, Environmental and Natural Resources Economics, 6th edition (On reserve) (T henceforth)

Hartwick, John and Oleweiler, Nancy, The Economics of Natural Resources (On reserve) (H-O henceforth)

Crandall, Robert W., Controlling Industrial Pollution (On reserve)

Dorfman, Robert and Nancy, Economics of Environment, 3rd edition (On reserve) (D henceforth)

Stavins, Robert N., Economics of Environment, 4th edition (On reserve) (S henceforth)

Cooper, Richard N., Environmental Policy in a World Economy (On reserve)

Sunstein, Cass, Risk and Reason

Breyer, Stephen, Breaking the Vicious Circle (On reserve)

Perman, Roger and coauthors, Natural Resources and Environmental Economics (On reserve). This is a more advanced book, which individual students may want to consult.

Nordhaus, William, Warming the World