Environmental Economics and Policy

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course provides an introduction to the principles of environmental economics, with a focus on policy applications. The principal problem in any economics course is how to best allocate scarce resources. This holds true for environmental economics as well. However, environmental resources differ from other goods that economists study in that there is usually no market for them. Thus, government policies are needed to maintain and improve environmental quality. To appreciate the above aspects the fundamental concepts of Microeconomics necessary to understand the functioning of the economic system, the behavior of its agents, the market mechanism, the benefits of the exchange, as well as the cases where markets fail will be provided.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have familiarized her/himself with the fundamental concepts of Microeconomic theory necessary to understand the functioning of the economic system, the behavior of its agents, the market mechanism, the benefits of the exchange, as well as the cases where markets fail. These concepts are instrumental to the comprehension of environmental policies and of the environmental sustainability of economic systems. The student will therefore have acquired competence on the fundamentals of economic analysis of environmental problems and on the objectives and instruments of pollution control policies.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Lessons and classes will be held in the assigned classroom, according to the scheduled timetable, provided that the health regulations make it possible. In any case, all teaching activities will be recorded by making use of the Microsoft Teams or Zoom platforms, so that all lessons and classes will be made available online to all students not only live, but also at any time after recording. Slides and other teaching materials will be made available at the web page of the course on the Ariel platform.
Course syllabus
Microeconomics: The market; Budget constraint; Preferences and utility; Choice and demand; Slutsky equation; Demand and equilibrium; Technology; Profit maximization; Cost minimization; Cost curves; Firm supply; Industry supply; Monopoly (basics); Oligopoly (basics).
Environmental Economics: Introduction to environmental economics and the environment; Welfare economics; Externalities and public goods; Economic analysis of the environment; Coase theorem and environmental policy instruments (Standards, Taxes, Permits); Economic valuation of the environment.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisites. However if knowledge of basic math is lacking, attending the dedicated "crash course" is highly recommended
Teaching methods
Front lectures on the theory complemented with applied examples developed and discussed during the classes
Teaching Resources
Microeconomics: H.R. Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton Eds. (any edition). A simpler textbook: R.E. Hall and M. Lieberman, Economics: Principles & Applications, South-Western Pub. (any edition after the second one of 2006).
Environmental Economics: J.M. Harris and B. Roach (2017), Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach, Routledge New York, (3rd or 4th edition).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The course consists of two parts: Microeconomics (40 hours) and Environmental Economics (24 hours). Microeconomics: written exam composed of 10 multiple choice questions and 2 open questions. The 2 open questions can relate either to theoretical aspects or propose some simple exercise. In case of impossibility to hold a written exam, the exam will be oral and relate to the theoretical aspects of the treated topics.
Environmental Economics: written exam consisting mostly of multiple choice questions and possibly a few open ones.
The exams of the two parts of the course will be held separately, either on the same date or different dates.
SECS-P/01 - ECONOMICS - University credits: 8
Lessons: 64 hours
Professors: Bosello Francesco, Galeotti Marzio Domenico
Educational website(s)
Thursday 14.30-17.30 or by appointment via mail. For thesis and dissertation appointment by mail requested
Office #16 1st floor D.ESP