Econ222 - Environmental Economics

Course Description
Course Grade
Required Books
Class Email List


Lynne Lewis
Pettengill 261
Office Hours:


Course Description:

This course will cover the economics of pollution control and the basic principles for the management of renewable and non-renewable resources. The major focus of the course is to examine the proper roles of the public and private sectors in the management of natural resources and the protection of the environment. In an attempt to determine these roles we will consider the level of intervention necessary to ensure an efficient allocation, methods for the elimination of externalities, the costs of such intervention and the likelihood that such intervention will be successful. We will learn the basic tools of environmental and natural resource economics including valuation, cost-benefit analysis and permit trading. We will then apply such tools to current topics. Central to our discussions will be topics such as the management issues in sustainable activities such as water resources, economic incentives for pollution control and the evaluation of nonmarket goods such as recreation and wildlife. The purpose of the course is to teach students how to apply their economics training to real world problems by integrating economic theory and empirical evidence.

Prerequisite:. Econ 101 – Introductory microeconomics or equivalent


Course Grade:

There will be a one mid-term exam and a comprehensive final exam, each of which will make up 35% of your grade. Problem sets, assignments and a “scrapbook” will make up another 20%. Scrapbooks consisting of current events articles and explanations related to class are due on the last day of class. Class participation, based on adequate preparation, is important and expected and will make up the remaining 10% of your grade.

Assignments are due in class and will not be accepted over email. Please make sure to staple your assignments.


Required Books:

The required text for this course is:

Tietenberg, Thomas, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Addison-Wesley.
Note: you may use either the 6th Edition (2002) or the 5th Edition (2000).

There is also an optional book for this course:

Lutter, Randall and Jason Shogren (Editors), Painting the White House Green: Rationalizing Environmental Policy Inside the Executive Office of the President, RFF Press, 2004.

These books should both be available at the Bates College Bookstore.


Class Email List:

There is an email list set up for this class. The name of this list is wecon222a (Tues/Thurs class) or wecon222b (Mon/Wed class). (You will only be able to send to the class you are registered for.) Please use the list for class-related discussion, course questions, etc. From your Bates account, simply send a message to wecon222a or wecon222b.



Be prepared for class. Readings should be read before class. This will make learning and class participation easier, thus preparing you better for exams and assignments.



We will try to stick to the schedule below, but we will also move at the pace of the class. Please be willing to be flexible. Any changes will be announced in class. Exam dates will NOT change.

Date: Topic: Required Reading:
Week 1:    
1/10 Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Chapters 1-4
  Natural Resource and Environmental Economics Tools  
1/12 Cost-Benefit Analysis and Discounting Chapter 2
Week 2:    
1/17 No Class – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  
1/15 Dynamic Efficiency Chapters 5 & 7
1/21 Decision Making Using Cost-Benefit Analysis Chapters 3-4
Week 3:    
1/24 Valuation – Values and Methods  
1/26 Valuing the Environment  
Week 4:    
1/31 Valuation (continued)  
2/2 Damage Assessment Case Study Readings will be given
Week 5:    
2/7 Water Resources Chapter 10
2/9 Water Resources (continued)  
Week 6:    
2/14 Sustainable Development and Resource Allocation Chapter 22
2/16 Midterm 5:00-7:00 p.m.  
  Winter Recess  
Week 7:    
2/28 Economics of Pollution Control Chapters 4 & 15
3/2 Economics of Pollution Control (continued) Chapter 15
Week 8:    
3/7 EPA Sulfur Dioxide Auction Bids  
3/9 Auction Bids  
Week 9:    
3/14 Air Pollution - Local and Global Pollutants Chapters 16-17
3/16 Air Pollution – Mobile Sources Chapter 18
Week 10:    
3/21 Water Pollution Chapter 19
3/23 Auction Analysis and Recyclable Resources Chapter 9
Week 11:    
3/28 Recyclable Resources (continued)  
3/30 Biological Resources – Forests and Fisheries Chapters 12-13
Week 12:    
4/4 Environmental Justice and Biodiversity Chapter 21
4/6 Sustainable Development - Revisited