In many economic situations, the incentives of individual agents are not aligned with the objective of attaining aggregate economic efficiency, or the maximisation of social welfare. Such situations often lead to market failures that are characterised by environmental degradation or the overexploitation of natural resources.
This course analyses the economic principles underlying the design of efficient environmental policies and the optimal management of natural resources. It identifies conditions under which market failures lead to environmental degradation or to the overexploitation of natural resources, and discusses economic policies that can counteract such market failures. Such policies include imposing taxes on certain economic activities, or allocating property rights that allow these activities to be undertaken. If property rights—which may take the form of pollution permits, or individual quotas for the harvesting of natural resources—are transferable between agents, the trade of property rights between self-interested agents yields economic efficiency as a market-based outcome.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate an understanding of how various market failures may lead to environmental degradation or the overexploitation of natural resources;
- use economic modelling to evaluate various approaches to the design of efficient environmental policies and of rules for the optimal management of natural resources;
- construct and analyse simple dynamic models of natural resource management.
- Assessment may consist of a Final Exam, mid-semester exam(s), quizzes, assignments or some combination thereof. See the Class Summary for details. (100) [LO 1,2,3]
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130 hours in total over the semester consisting of lectures, tutorials and private study time.
Requisite and Incompatibility
See Class Summary
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Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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