• Offered by Environmental Management & Development Program
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Summer Session 2015
    Winter Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

The aim of the introductory economics course is to revise basic economic concepts so as to prepare students for economic courses that they are required to do as part of the Master of Environmental Management and Development and Master of Climate Change with many different backgrounds and levels of competency in economics.  Some students may already be familiar with the concepts in this prep course, while others may be embarking for the first time on economic study. The course ensures that all students are brought to the same level. Environmental economics provides tools for analysing environmental issues in a balanced and quantifiable way.  Economics is the study of behaviour under changing conditions, and environmental economics addresses how people’s use of the environmental or natural resources change in response to shifts in scarcity.  For environmental issues, part of the solution always lies in identifying approaches that generate trade-offs between competing demands at the least cost.  Environmental economics provides the tools for policy makers to make the most effective and efficient decisions to generate the best outcomes possible.

Economics studies how people make decisions about using scarce resources, and environmental economics specifically analyses people’s use of environmental and natural resources. Environmental economics can help inform policy decisions that balance costs and benefits, and on the choice and design of policy instruments. Environmental economics also provides insights into the economic causes of environmental problems and how to remedy them through the application of policy instruments.

Environmental economics mainly uses theories and methods from micro-economics, namely analysis of individual and firm decision-making and markets. However understanding the evolution of environmental quality, environment and trade, and sustainability also requires knowledge of some macro-economics, that is the study of the overall national and global economy. Economic research heavily uses statistical methods (econometrics) and so it is important for students to understand some basic statistical concepts.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course, students will:
1. Understand the economic way of thinking
2. Have a solid understanding of the supply and demand model of competitive markets and understand how to use it to model the effects of government policies.
3. Understand the concepts of externalities and market failures as a cause of environmental problems.
4. Have a knowledge of key policy instruments for environmental policy and how they work.
5. Be familiar with the measurement of national income.
6. Be able to construct and understand basic statistics such as the mean and standard deviation.
7. Be able to interpret the results of regression analysis as presented in economics articles.

Indicative Assessment

A range of formative and summative assessment tasks will be used to aid student learning. Feedback will be provided on all tasks. Completion of all tasks is required.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Approximately 15 hours class, with an equivalent number of hours in self study 

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Environmental Management & Development Program to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Gans, J., King, S., Stonecash, R., and Mankiw, N. G. (2010) Principles ofEconomics, 5th Edition. Cengage Learning.
Any other introductory economics text will also deliver the same material. The course only covers some of the material in this comprehensive textbook.

Statistics component:

Freedman, D; Pisani, R; and Purves, R. (2007). Statistics, Fourth Edition.  WW Norton and Company.
Any other introductory statistics text will also deliver the same material. The course only covers some of the material in this comprehensive textbook and does not follow it directly.

Indicative further reading:
Common, M. S. and Stagl, S. (2005) Ecological Economics: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Keohane, N. O. and Olmstead S. M. (2007). Markets and the Environment. Island Press.
Tietenberg, T. and Lewis, L. (2008). Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. Pearson Education Ltd: USA.
These are alternative readings that give more background on environmental economics.

Assumed Knowledge

Basic mathematics – graphs, equations, simple algebra.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

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If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1691 01 Jan 2015 23 Jan 2015 23 Jan 2015 31 Mar 2015 In Person N/A

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1771 11 Jun 2015 19 Jun 2015 10 Jul 2015 17 Jul 2015 In Person N/A

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