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This course will apply microeconomic theory and welfare economics to the management and stewardship of the environment. We will begin by reviewing the ethical framework of welfare economics and its relation to concepts of sustainability. We will use welfare economics to frame the problems posed by public and common property goods, and by externalities more generally. We will see how welfare economics is applied to the problems posed by such goods using cost-benefit analysis. This framework will enable us to address diverse environmental problems. For example, how can we place a comparable value on environmental benefits? How much pollution of the air and water should we tolerate, and how can we reduce pollution to such levels in the least costly way? Can there be effective pollution control when individual contributions cannot be observed? What is economics contributing to the study of global warming, or the effects of trade liberalisation on the environment?
Subject to approval of the Head of Department