• Class Number 2837
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Beck Pearse
    • Beck Pearse
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Sam Beaver
SELT Survey Results

The course “Economics for the Environment’ begins with an explanation of what economics is. In this explanation, a role for economics in the consideration of environmental matters is established. The potential for markets to solve environmental problems is explored and this is accompanied by an analysis of government, or ‘command and control’ mechanisms for dealing with environmental issues. Throughout the course economic principles and techniques are set out. These include opportunity cost, demand, transaction costs, property rights and benefit cost analysis.

This course also provides the basic skills for further studies in environmental and resource economics.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain how the discipline of economics, and economic tools such as cost-benefit analysis, can be used to analyse environmental and natural resource use issues
  2. describe the potential for market and government ('command and control) mechanisms to address environmental issues
  3. define and explain the role of economics in the management of natural resources, including water, forests, energy and fisheries, at local, regional and global levels.

Research-Led Teaching

A feature of the course will be the use, where possible, of recent research on real world examples.

Field Trips

There are no field trips. Students will be given feedback during tutorial sessions throughout the semester.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Weekly reading list

The textbook for ENVS2007 is by the CORE project team. Economy, Society, and Public Policy is an introduction to economics written for students who are not taking economics as a major. The first half of the course focuses on key insights into the economy. The workshops will focus in particular on environmental issues covered in the book. And we will translate the 'social' focus of the text into our 'environmental' focus for this course.

* Refers to reading required that week for workshops. The remainder are recommended for students presenting in tutorials that week.

W1. Capitalism, technology, inequality and the environment

*CORE Economics (2019) '1. Capitalism and democracy: Affluence, inequality, and the environment', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


W2. Self interest, cooperation, and environmental public goods

*CORE Economics (2019) '2. Social interactions and economic outcomes', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hardin, Garrett. (1991) 'Paramount positions in ecological economics', In Costanza, R (ed) Ecological Economics: The Science and Management of Sustainability. New York: Columbia University Press, pp.47-57.

Ostrom, Elinor (2010), 'Beyond markets and states: polycentric governance of complex economic systems', American Economic Review, 100(3): 641-672.

W3. Fair and efficient economic policy

*CORE Economics (2019) '3. Public policy for fairness and efficiency', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vatn, Arild (2002) 'Efficient or fair: Ethical paradoxes in environmental policy', In: Bromley DW and Paavola J (eds) Economics, Ethics, and Environmental policy: Contested Choices. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp.148-163.

Ventura, Andrea, Carlo Cafiero & Marcello Montibeller (2016), 'Pareto efficiency, the Coase Theorem, and externalities: A critical view', Journal of Economic Issues, 50(3): 872-895.


W4. Work, consumption, well-being, and scarcity

*CORE Economics (2019) '4. Work, well-being, and scarcity', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Trigg, Andrew B (2001), 'Veblen, Bourdieu, and conspicuous consumption', Journal of Economic Issues, 35(1): 99-115.

Jackson, Tim (2017), 'Beyond consumer capitalism: Foundations for a sustainable prosperity', in P.A. Victor & B. Dolter (eds), Handbook on Growth and Sustainability, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

W5. Institutions, power, and inequality

*CORE Economics (2019) '5. Institutions, power and inequality', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Boyce, James K. (1994) 'Inequality as a cause of environmental degradation', Ecological Economics 11(3): 169-178.

Raworth, Kate, Sarah Wykes & Steve Bass (2014), Securing Social Justice in Green Economies, London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

W6. Firms and markets

*CORE Economics (2019) '6. The firm: Employees, managers, and owners', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*CORE Economics (2019) '7. Firms and markets for goods and services', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vlachou, Andriana (2005), 'Environmental regulation: A value-theoretic and class-based analysis', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 29(4): 577-599.

O'Hara, Phillip Anthony (2009), 'Political economy of climate change, ecological destruction and uneven development', Ecological Economics, 69(2): 223-234.

W7. Market failure and market-based mechanisms

CORE Economics (2019) '11. Market successes and failures', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*Stavins, Robert N (1989), 'Harnessing market forces to protect the environment', Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 31(1): 5-35.

*Spash, Clive (2010), 'The brave new world of carbon trading', New Political Economy, 15(2): 169-195.

W8. Efficiency, supply-side and 'command' pollution policy

CORE Economics (2019) '11. Market successes and failures', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*Green, Fergus & Richard Denniss (2018), 'Cutting with both arms of the scissors: The economic and political case for restrictive supply-side climate policies', Climatic Change, 150(1): 73-87.

*Driesen, David (1998), 'Is emissions trading an economic incentive program?: Replacing the command and control/economic incentive dichotomy', Washington and Lee Law Review, 55: 289-335.


W9. Indigenous people and economic policy

*Altman, Jon C (2004), 'Economic development and Indigenous Australia: Contestations over property, institutions and ideology*', Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 48(3): 513-534.

*Langton, Marcia & Odette Mazel (2008), 'Poverty in the midst of plenty: Aboriginal people, the ‘resource curse’ and Australia’s mining boom', Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 26(1): 31-65.

W10. Gender and green policy

*Agarwal, B (2000), 'Conceptualising environmental collective action: why gender matters', Cambridge Journal of Economics, 24(3): 283-310.

*Nelson, Julie A (2008) 'Economists, value judgments, and climate change: A view from feminist economics', Ecological Economics, 65(3): 441-447.

W11. Labour and green industrial policy

CORE Economics (2019) '8. The labour market and the product market: Unemployment and inequality', Economy, Society, and Public Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

*Mazzucato, Mariana (2016), 'From market fixing to market-creating: A new framework for innovation policy', Industry and Innovation, 23(2): 140-156.

*Chang, Ha-Joon & Antonio Andreoni (2020), 'Industrial policy in the 21st century', Development and Change, 51(2): 324-351.


W12. Review

No new reading.


General economics texts:

Chang, Ha-Joon (2014), Economics: The User's Guide, New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Ferber, Marianne & Julie Nelson (eds) (1993), Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Nelson, Julie (2018), Economics for Humans, Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Stanford, Jim (2015), Economics for Everyone, London: Pluto Press. https://economicsforeveryone.ca/

Stilwell, Frank (2011), Political Economy: The Contest of Economic Ideas, 3rd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Quiggin, John (2019), Economics in Two Lessons: Why Markets Work So Well, and Why They Can Fail So Badly, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.


Green economics texts:

Cato, Molly Scott (2009), Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice, London: Earthscan.

Cato, Molly Scott (2021), Economy and Environment, 2nd edn, Abingdon: Routledge.

Raworth, Kate (2017), Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-century Economist, London: Penguin.

Harris, Jonathan M & Brian Roach (2018), Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach, 4th edn, Abingdon: Routledge.

Tietenberg, Tom & Lynne Lewis (2018), Environmental and Resource Economics, 11th edn, Abingdon: Routledge.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Verbal feedback during tutorials

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Referencing in tutorial exercises, and in exams

For the tutorial exercises, including references in your answers is optional. Just stating standard results accurately without references is enough; but you can add references if you wish, though make sure they are appropriate ones! To save space, you can reference a textbook like this in the text of your answer: '(HR Box 3.2)', '(HR Fig. 3.4)' or '(TL pp63-4)', and the lecture slides like this: '(Lec 2 slide 34)' or '(Lec 3 slide 10)' – without having to add any citations in a References list at the end. Referencing is permitted but not expected in exams.

Hints for assessment answers:

Answer the question as written, not the question you'd like to answer, and don't include irrelevant material. Generally, it's a good idea to include the wording of the question somewhere in your answer. For example, if somewhere in your answer to "Why does X happen?" you write "X happens because...", you're showing that you're answering the question.

Avoid too many passives like saying this or that wonderful environmental action should be done, otherwise you're often just indulging in wishful thinking. Say which people, firms or governments need to do these things, so that you realise the practical and political implications of what you're suggesting.

Including diagrams can gain you marks, or it can reveal your ignorance. For example, more than half of the ENVS2007 students who tried to draw HR Fig 8.5, or TL Fig 14.3 or 14.6, for an exam answer in 2019 made a mistake which showed they didn't understand the diagram.


General points:

Back up your laptop notes every day! Losing or breaking a laptop just before an assessment is due is not a valid reason for any special consideration.

Do not make travel plans during teaching weeks or the exam period! Planned travel (as opposed to travel for unforeseen reasons) is not a valid reason for deferred assessment.

For all assessment extensions, Special Assessment Considerations and Deferred Examinations, contact whoever of Paul or Thang is currently lecturing (copied to your tutor if appropriate) in the first instance.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 SECTION I - THE ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENTThursday 22/2 or Friday 23/2Workshop 1: The economy, technology, inequality, and environmental change Tutorial:
  • Introductions and big opening questions.
  • Discussion: What is the economy made up of? How and why has our economic system changed the biosphere? Can we reform markets to be sustainable?
2 Thursday 29/2 or Friday 1/3Workshop 1: Self interest, cooperation, and environmental public goods Tutorial:
  • Qs: Can self-interest be harnessed for sustainability? How do social preferences and norms shape economic decisions?
  • Student-led discussion about Garett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom.
3 Thursday 7/3 or Friday 8/3Workshop 3: Fair and efficient economic policy Tutorial:
  • Qs: What ethical dilemmas arise from environmental policy? How do economists evaluate efficiency and fairness of public policy?
  • Student-led discussion about Vilfredo Pareto and Arild Vatn.
4 Thursday 14/3 or Friday 15/3Workshop 4: Work, consumption, well-being, and scarcity Tutorial:
  • Qs: Why do we work and consume so much? Can we make different choices? What would an economy with less work-hours and consumption look like?
  • Student-led discussions about Thorsten Veblen and Tim Jackson.
5 Thursday 21/3 or Friday 22/3Workshop 5: Institutions, power, and inequality Tutorial:
  • Qs: Does inequality cause environmental degradation? How do economists model greater equality and sustainability? What economic institutions need to change?
  • Student-led discussion about Kate Raworth and James Boyce.
6 Thursday 28/3 or Friday 29/3Workshop 6: Firms and markets Tutorial:
  • Qs: How do firms compete for market share and power? Does capitalist competition drive ecological destruction and uneven development? How to governments respond?
  • Student-led discussion about Karl Marx and Adriana Vlachou.
7 SECTION II - ECONOMIC POLICIES FOR THE ENVIRONMENTThursday 18/4 or Friday 19/4Workshop 7: Market failure, pollution, and market-based policyCase study discussion - Australia's carbon trading scheme. Tutorial:
  • Qs: What causes market failure? What's the difference between 'command and control' policy and market mechanisms? How do market mechanisms like pollution taxation and emissions trading differ?
  • Student led discussions about Robert Stavins and Clive Spash.
8 Friday 26/4 only (Anzac day, 25/4)Workshop 8: Efficiency, supply-side and 'command' pollution policyCase study discussion - Australia's biodiversity and land-clearing regulation. Tutorial:
  • Qs: When and why do governments fail to deal with pollution? Are traditional environmental regulations always inefficient? How do demand-side and supply-side pollution policies differ?
  • Student-led discussion about Richard Dennis and David Driessen.
9 Thursday 2/5 or Friday 3/5Workshop 9: Indigenous people and economic policyCase study discussion - Australia's mining regulation. Tutorial:
  • Qs: What is the hybrid economy? Does Australia's suffer the resource curse? What environmental/economic policies can best support Indigenous people's self-determination and development goals?
  • Student-led discussion about Marcia Langton and Jon Altman.
10 Thursday 9/5 or Friday 10/5Workshop 10: Gender and green policyCase study discussion - Australia's water and drought policy. Tutorial:
  • Qs: What does gender have to do with environmental economics? Is gender-sensitive environmental policy more efficient? What happens when environmental policy ignores gender?
  • Student-led discussion about Bina Agarwal and Julie Nelson.
11 Thursday 16/5 or Friday 17/5Workshop 11: Labour and green industrial policyCase study discussion - Australia's energy transition strategy. Tutorial:
  • Qs: What principles inform industrial policy? What is green industrial policy? Can states effectively use industrial policy to transform markets?
  • Student-led discussion of Mariana Mazzucato and Ha-Joon Chang.
12 Thursday 23/5 or Friday 24/5Review No tutorials.

Tutorial Registration

Please register for tutorials via MyTimetable.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation (10%) 10 % * * 1,3
Tutorial paper (1000 words, 20%) 20 % * * 1,2,3
Mid-semester exam (1000 words, 20%) 20 % 10/04/2024 * 1,2,3
Policy report (2500 words, 50%) 50 % 31/05/2024 21/06/2024 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation in both seminars (interactive lectures) and tutorials is strongly encouraged to get the most from the course.


Please refer to the central examinations schedule for details about the scheduling of the final examination.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Participation (10%)

Students are expected to contribute to class discussion in the workshops (interactive lectures) and tutorials.

Your participation mark will be based on your contribution to both workshop and tutorial classes. Workshops are run twice each week on different days to ensure you won't miss out on enrolment in a class. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we ask that you take a different elective course or enrolling in ENVS2007 in a year during your candidature that you can participate in the course fully.

See further details on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Tutorial paper (1000 words, 20%)

Due: during weekly tutorials.

The paper should be 2 pages, no more.

Between weeks 2 and 11, students will nominate a week to submit a tutorial paper. You will submit your paper individually. In addition, you will need to cooperate with 2-3 other students to facilitate discussion in class. Your tutor will get you in touch with students who have nominated for the same week.

The purpose of this exercise is to develop your reading and note-taking skills. The presentation should introduce the class to the two authors and ideas your read that week. Use maximum three slides to summarise key insights into the authors work. Connect what you read to the workshop discussions that week, and post 1-2 questions to help open up discussion for class. The presentation is not marked, but the tutorial paper will be.

Please refer to the course Wattle site for further details.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 10/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-semester exam (1000 words, 20%)

Due: 5pm Wednesday 10 April.

Released: 9am Monday 8 April.

A Mid-semester examination will be conducted as a take-home test during the mid-semester break. The exam will test topics covered in the required text book readings (Chapters 1-6 of ESPP) and workshop lecture notes.

The purpose of this assessment is to establish your grasp of core economic ideas necessary for the second half of the course focused on economic policy debate within environmental and resource economics.

Please refer to the course Wattle site for further details.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Policy report (2500 words, 50%)

The final assessment is an applied economic policy analysis addressing a key sector in the Australian economy. Drawing on the core readings as well as well-chosen additional academic and primary evidence you find, you will be asked to evaluate and explain the causes of an environmental-economic challenge (e.g. climate change, mining impacts, water scarcity and drought, biodiversity loss, energy transition). After explaining the causes of the issues, you'll then outline an appropriate economic policy (or policies) for the government to consider.

The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate your understanding of economic policy debates and capacity to apply economic ideas to a policy issue in Australia.

See further details and instructions on Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

No hardcopy submission is required for any assessment

Late Submission

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request it in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specied in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re-submission of assignments is permitted up to the due time/date. No re-submissions after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Beck Pearse

Research Interests

Climate policy; energy policy; social inequalities; rural issues.

Beck Pearse

By Appointment
Beck Pearse

Research Interests

Beck Pearse

By Appointment
Sam Beaver

Research Interests

Sam Beaver


Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions